One great thing about our addiction to social media (and really, this may be the only one), is how easy it makes it to turn mushy real-world concepts such as influence into quantifiable, crunchable statistics. For those of us mathematically inclined, it’s almost like everyone got their own baseball card and we can simply flip it over to see who’s really slugging and who’s getting walked. Unlike baseball, however, the real world of social influence hasn’t exactly been figured out by the data crunchers; that is, the relationship between being a real-world macher and a social media starlet isn’t a straight line, though the two are correlated.
In this infographic media consultant Jose Rodriguez has mapped out the social reach of a very special subset of folks: journalism pundits (including yours truly and many of the individuals and sites we follow). What makes this more interesting than, say, a graphic about the reach of Hollywood actors is that this group is speaking to an audience that are themselves influencers of what others consume so in some sense any reach you see here is magnified several-fold (that is, if you believe journalists and marketing folks still have influence on the content you ultimately consume).
What can this data teach us? Well, we’re flattered to be here but obviously have some catching up to do in terms of reach. I can see from Jose’s visualization that there’s a pretty obvious link between number of tweets and number of followers. But maybe those with more followers just tend to tweet more. Since it’s free to tweet, no harm in upping the level of communication although many of the top tweeters on here have been at it longer than Ebyline has been in existence, which probably explains some of it.
As always, outliers are the most interesting data points. While nearly all of those with big followings themselves follow a relatively small number of feeds, there’s Stuart Elliott of The New York Times’ Media Decoder blog out there on his own (in hot pink, no less) hitting the Follow button like a retired mayor at the video poker table. What gives, Stuart?