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How not to measure Twitter Influence

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These are the slides of a keynote I gave at Emerce Eday on 25 October 2012 in Rotterdam.

The short description of my talk was as follows: With the ongoing rise of third party applications like Klout, tools for measuring Twitter influence are important to understand. This presentation takes a look at the different ways in which influence measures have been developed for Twitter. In particular it will use the case study of the UK riots of 2011 for which a database of 2.6 million tweets was collected in collaboration with Twitter and The Guardian newspaper. By examining the top 1000 most tweeted accounts, it will give further insight in how influence worked during this crisis event, specifically highlighting the emergence of the ‘ordinary influential’ during 2011 as well as how large organisations have incorporated social media practices.

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How not to measure Twitter Influence

  1. 1. @ flygirltwoHow (not) to measure Twitter influence Farida Vis Information School, University of Sheffield
  2. 2. REAL TIME
  3. 3. BIG DATA
  4. 4. MOBILE
  5. 5. TWITTER
  6. 6. FACEBOOK
  7. 7. [NAME OF NEXT BIG SNS HERE]
  8. 8. GEOLOCATION
  9. 9. STREAMING
  10. 10. INFLUENCE
  11. 11. KLOUT
  12. 12. PEERINDEX
  13. 13. Following Rules and Best Practice – Twitter Help CenterWe don’t limit the number of followers you can have. However, we do monitor howaggressively users follow other users. We try to make sure that none of our limitsrestrain reasonable usage, and will not affect most Twitter users.Aggressive following is define as indiscriminate following a few users if their accountsseem interesting is normal and is not considered aggressive.… every user can follow 2000 people total. Once you’ve 2000 users, there are limits tothe number of additional users you can follow: this limit is different for every user andis based on you ratio of followers to following.
  14. 14. ‘A score in the 40s suggests a strong, butniche, following’‘… influence is about engagement andmotivation, not just racking up legions offollowers’ (New York Times)
  15. 15. Sleep deprivation…FacebookCommunity
  16. 16. Not on KLOUT, still scored
  17. 17. THE ALGORITHM
  18. 18. Aaron ZinmanMIT SociableMedia Group
  19. 19. Online Sport Education Illegal and legal
  20. 20. UK TWITTERATI
  21. 21. 2011 UK Twitterati (The Independent)1. Sarah Brown – Campaigner (PI: 93)2. Richard Bacon – Broadcaster (PI: 92)3. Eddie Izzard – Comedian (PI: 89)
  22. 22. 2012 UK Twitterati (The Independent)1. Richard Branson – Tycoon (PI: 93)2. Sarah Brown – Campaigner (PI: 92)=2. Alan Carr, Broadcaster (PI: 92)
  23. 23. Tweets as: @richardbransonPeerIndex:93Authority: 95Activity: 46Audience: 97Follows: 6,414Followers: 1,834,516
  24. 24. NO Jon Hickman on PeerIndexNo score/profile created for him
  25. 25. Free stuffMore than 2,500companies usingKlout’s data(NYT, 26.6.2011)
  26. 26. “For the first time, we’re all on an even playing field” Joe FernandezChief executive and co founder of Klout
  27. 27. BIG DATA
  28. 28. NOT ENOUGH
  29. 29. GIANTDATA
  30. 30. More than 12 billion signals a day into a Hive data warehouse of more than 1 trillion rows Hundreds of millions of user profiles Klout blog 11.10.2012
  31. 31. 2.6 millionriot tweets Lisa Evans, 8.12.2011
  32. 32. ± 45% Mainstream media
  33. 33. ViralImage≠Influence
  34. 34. Mentions ≠ insight
  35. 35. Online influence ≠ Offline influence
  36. 36. BIEBER VS OBAMA
  37. 37. 2012 UK Independent voices (The Independent) UK NEWS: Owen Jones – writer / researcher (PI: 65) WORLD NEWS: Hossam el-Hamalawy – Egyptian journalist/dissident (PI: 64) PEOPLE: Wael Ghonim – Egyptian Google staffer (PI: 41)
  38. 38. 2011 rise of the ordinary influential?
  39. 39. CONTEXTCONTEXTCONTEXT
  40. 40. Small data = meaning
  41. 41. Gaming the system
  42. 42. Implications of reducing people to a number

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