Twitter analysis of @LabourList followers

Twitter analysis of @LabourList followers

Click on picture for larger version

This is the first of a series of posts I’ll be writing about politics and government on Twitter which will be aided/driven by my interest in social networking illustrations. To kick things off I’ve decided to do some basic analysis of @LabourList, the Twitter account of labourlist.org, the Labour Party’s ‘biggest independent grassroots e-network’, which is run by Alex Smith, who is fast becoming the unofficial spokesperson on the Labour Party’s digital work.

So I guess you’re wondering why I’ve put up this picture of a fireworks display. It is in fact a map displaying all the Twitter followers of @LabourList and the Twitter users who most mention ‘@LabourList’ in their tweets. The Twitter account of @LabourList is represented by, unsurprisingly, the LabourList logo (the red and white cross thing), while its most influential followers who most mention ‘@LabourList’ on their tweets are represented by the big blue blobs (nodes). These nodes represent the Twitter accounts of (from left to right) @BevaniteEllie @coopparty @psbook @Emma_Hoddinott and the smaller blue nodes at the end of the thin blue lines represent their followers.

If someone follows more than one of @BevaniteEllie @coopparty @psbook @Emma_Hoddinott they will have more than one line linking to their node. There are of course also red lines but these only link to followers of @LabourList …..confused?

Let me try and explain it like this: my Twitter account is @joshfeldberg and as it happens I follow @LabourList, @coopparty and @BevaniteEllie. This means I am a small node somewhere on the illustration with three lines linking to me – one red (because I follow @LabourList) and two light green – one will be linking to a big blue node representing @coopparty and the other linking to @BevaniteEllie.  Hence on the original picture I would be represented like the node below:

(Zoomed in version of fig 1)

Zoom in on node

Or simplified even more…

me small node

Still with me?? … So the question now is really whether any of this is useful. Well, the truth is that the image itself isn’t useful but the data behind what created might be, although probably not.

If Alex Smith, the Editor of LabourList, wanted to increase the readership of labourlist.org he could use this diagram, or rather the data used to create it, to see the person who he should most reach out to and work with to help him acquire new followers of @LabourList and hence (the theory goes) read labourlist.org. If were to do this he would see that @BevaniteEllie is the person who he should work with. Not simply because @BevaniteEllie has over a thousand followers who do not follow @LabourList (more than anyone else who regularly mentions @LabourList in their tweets) but also because, according to http://Twitter.grader.com/, she has a higher level of ‘Twitter influencer’ than anyone else who regularly mentions @LabourList in their tweets.

All this analysis is of course very simplistic but it does provide a starting point in  understanding the relationships between @LabourList’s most valuable followers and if Twitter were a reflection of the real world Alex Smith would now be well equipped to increase his influence as a Labour Party activist. However, saying all this, the value of Twitter as a whole is at best debatable, so any in depth of analysis of influencers and followers might be totally pointless! Nevertheless, being the geek that I am I find it all interesting and it gives me an excuse to map out some funky looking diagrams.

If you want to find out more about social networking analyses and influencers I strongly recommend you read Social network analysis and PR by Porter Novelli’s Social Media Planner Tim Hoang

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9 thoughts on “Twitter analysis of @LabourList followers

  1. Pingback: Twitter Trackbacks for Twitter analysis of @LabourList followers « Just Juiced [justjuiced.wordpress.com] on Topsy.com

  2. antonhowes

    So theoretically, the people inbetween each of the major nodes will be the vast majority of Labour supporters, and the remainder will be those who simply like to keep tabs on what Labourites are up to?
    I say “majority” of course, as many Conservatives and LibDem types will follow all of them too.

    Reply
  3. Josh Feldberg Post author

    Spot on. I assume that if you were a conservative or lib dem you would only bother following the main party twitter accounts. However, on that basis it seems that the majority of Labour List followers could be tories as most of them do not also follow Labour List’s main advocates!

    Reply
  4. Josh Feldberg Post author

    Yes. Next week I’ll be mapping out all the Labour MPs on twitter. Then I’ll do the Tories and then finally I’ll map out all the MPs on twitter and see what relationships are formed. I’ll also be producing an influencer league table for all the MPs

    Reply
  5. Karl Havard

    Josh,

    This is really interesting. I’m tracking topics of conversation during the Labour conference. Already some fantastic nuggets. Look forward to your league table.

    What tool are you using for this? I was exposed to a beta release UK product last week which helps map out the “politicking”.

    Karl

    Reply
  6. Josh Feldberg Post author

    Thanks Karl! the tool you mention in beta sounds fascinating. I’d love to see it. This map is designed on excel with A LOT of manipulation

    Reply
  7. Pingback: Labour’s Twitter Tsars « Just Juiced

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