This weekend my dad challenged me with a question about Twitter. He asked how old the people are who follow a discussion of Shakespeare, with the implicit assumption that it is an older crowd.
So I did what I’ve been doing lately, to demonstrate the value of Twitter – I asked (on Facebook as well).
89 of you wrote back over the weekend, which is a reasonable number to do some statistics. [ For the record, I *think* that Stanley Wells of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust follows me, but he did not check in with his age. Knowing his age (it is public record) I know that it would skew my results higher, but I can’t include somebody’s information without their consent, so he’s not included in these findings. I can’t just pick out one number because I happen to know it, that would skew my random sample. ]
With a minimum reported age of 16 and a max of 55, the average age of Shakespeare Geek followers is …. 30 and a half. *trumpet blare*
The standard deviation is 10.4. If I remember my statistics correctly, that means that 68% of the audience falls within plus or minus a standard deviation from the average – so, 2/3rds of you are basically between 20 and 40.
Now let’s have some fun with the Facebook crowd, since I can separate them out. 25 of those 89 results came from Facebook. Looking specifically at Facebook we have a range of 19 to 48, averaging just shy of 35 (stddev of 9.5, so the range of ages is similar – but a few years older).
So if we take the FB numbers out, that leaves Twitter specifically with a range of 16 – 55 still, but the average age actually drops to 29.
I find the results interesting, and not just because it suggests that Facebook, once the realm of the college-only crowd, is starting to look a bit old, while Twitter comes up strong from behind.
What this continues to tell us is that Shakespeare remains appealing to a wide array of people. How often do you get a 16yr old engaged in conversation with a 55yr old? Not too often! But obviously something’s got them all coming to this common ground. I love it.