Here's How to Truly Rate Twitter Influence

Sorry Lady Gaga, it's not just about the number of followers
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2011 1:43 PM CDT
How to Better Measure Influence on Twitter: Hello, Rafinha Bastos
The chief executive officer of Twitter, Dick Costolo, arrives to speak on February 14, 2011 during the opening of the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona.   (Getty Images)

The standard way of figuring out who matters on Twitter is to look at the number of followers, but that's outmoded now, writes David Leonhardt at the New York Times. He got an independent group called Twitalyzer to analyze the question, and it produced something called an Influence Index. Among other things, it counts how often a person's Twitter name is cited by others to get a sense not just of who is talking but who is
"affecting the conversation," writes Leonhardt. So Lady Gaga may have the most followers (9 million and counting), but she doesn't crack the top 10 in influence.

Some highlights:

  • Most influential, from 1 to 10: Rafinha Bastos (Brazil comedian); the NFL's Chad Ochocinco; Conan O'Brien; Stephen Fry (British actor); Ryan Seacrest; Snoop Dogg; President Obama; Rainn Wilson; Kim Kardashian; Luciano Huck (Brazil TV personality)
  • Among GOP contenders: Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Jim DeMint, Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich
  • In technology: Bill Gates, Biz Stone, Tim O'Reilly, Jack Dorsey, Tony Hsieh
(More Twitter stories.)

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