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How the five journalists with the greatest online influence use social media

May 26th, 2011 | 3 Comments | Posted by in Social media and blogging

Ben Goldacre, whose Bad Science blog and column in the Guardian keeps journalists writing about health in check; Hilary Alexander, fashion director of the Telegraph; Jemima Kiss, technology writer at the Guardian; Robert Peston, business editor for the BBC and Mike Butcher, editor of TechCrunch UK have all been ranked by PeerIndex as the five UK journalists with the greatest online influence.

PeerIndex measures social capital using a method very similar to that which Google uses to calculate its page rank. It automatically ranks those with a Twitter account but users can also add LinkedIn, Facebook, Tumblr and Quora accounts.

Here is a snapshot of stats on how the top five people in the list of the UK’s 100 most influential journalists online use social media.

1. Ben Goldacre @bengoldacre

In his own words: “Nerd cheerleader, Bad Science person, stats geek, research fellow in epidemiology, procrastinator.”
All his own tweets? Yes
Followers: More than 114,000
Total tweets: more than 13,500
Following: 765
Average number of tweets per day: 22
Average number of additional followers a day: 258
Facebook: a page with more than 11,000 likes
LinkedIn: no presence

Ben Goldacre’s Twitter account contains a mix of blog posts, retweets, personal opinions and conversations with other users. His behaviour is very active and social, making his feed entertaining and interesting.

2. Hilary Alexander @HilaryAlexander

In her own words: “Fashion and style news from the @Telegraph”
All her own tweets? No, they are also sent by other Telegraph fashion journalists
Followers: Almost 180,000
Total tweets: More than 5,600
Following: 165
Average number of tweets per day: 13
Average number of additional followers a day: 327
Facebook: a page with around 150 likes
LinkedIn: not active

Hilary Alexander is a name journalist who appears on television talking about fashion, hence the substantial following. Her Twitter feed consists of links to her column and comments. There is very little interaction.

3. Jemima Kiss @jemimakiss

In her own words: “Guardian writer, interwebbist and mother, not necessarily in that order. And totally offline, on sabbatical, until 28 May. Ain’t no tweetin’ going on ’til then.” We have spotted the odd rogue tweet, however
All her own tweets? Yes
Followers: More than 24,500
Total tweets: More than 18,000
Following: 581
Average number of tweets per day: 9
Average number of additional followers a day: 35
Facebook: a profile but no page
LinkedIn: 417 connections

Jemima Kiss was the most-followed British journalist on Twitter for a couple of years, but maternity leave allowed others to overtake her, even though she announced her son’s birth online within hours of the fact. When she is active her feed is a very social mix of articles, conversation, pictures and observations.

4. Robert Peston @peston

In his own words: “Business Editor for the BBC”
Followers: More than 36,000
Total tweets: More than 1,400
Following: 171
All his own tweets? Yes, some automated to send links of blog posts
Average number of tweets per day: 16
Average number of additional followers a day: 400
Facebook: a page with 482 likes
LinkedIn: not active

Robert Peston is another “name”. His Twitter account consists extensively of links to articles and observations. However, he does retweet and reference people in his observations even though he is not a conversational tweeter.

5. Mike Butcher @mikebutcher

In his own words: “Editor, TechCrunch Europe: @TCEurope Full bio: mbites.com/contact
All his own tweets? Yes
Followers: More than 24,000
Total tweets: Almost 20,000
Following: 4,429
Average number of tweets per day: 24
Average number of additional followers a day: 30
Facebook: a profile but no page
LinkedIn: +500 connections

Mike Butcher is another conversational tweeter. It can be difficult to find his articles on his Twitter account because he is always retweeting and chatting as well as writing his observations.

Additional reporting by Sarah Booker.

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#UKjourn: Growing master list of all UK journalists on Twitter

May 20th, 2011 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Social media and blogging

Journalism.co.uk is building a master list of UK-based journalists who are regular Twitter users.

We have started to pull together a list using PeerIndex, which measures and ranks the online influence of anyone with a Twitter account. You also have the option to make your PeerIndex score more accurate by linking your LinkedIn, Facebook, Tumblr and Quora accounts.

Some Twitter accounts are not yet analysed by PeerIndex. If your is not, let us know at @journalismnews using the hashtag #UKjourn, we will send your Twitter handle to PeerIndex and tell them you are not linked.

If you are not on the list and are a UK-based journalist who should be, you can let us know in the same way.

This is a work in process – so do bear with us.

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#J100: The UK’s 100 most influential journalists online

Hundreds of suggestions and countless tweets later and we have finalised our PeerIndex list of the most influential UK journalists.

We have used PeerIndex, which ranks social capital. It does this by algorithmically mapping social networks, including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

We decided to go one step further and put the list of top journalists into Klout, which also ranks by overall online influence. Klout only allows 10 names in a list so we entered the top 10 names in our PeerIndex list. Klout has reordered them. You’ll will need to sign in with Klout to see this link (no embeddable code so a screen grab instead).

Klout top 10

Azeem Azhar, founder of PeerIndex (and formerly of the Guardian and the Economist) explains that PeerIndex calculates social capital using “maths very similar to that which Google uses to calculate its page rank”.

“And the thing that we like most about it is that it’s driven by what other people say abut you rather that what you say about yourself.”

You can hear more from Azhar, including why technology correspondents tend to get a higher ranking than fashion or politics correspondents, below.

Listen!

Our PeerIndex top 100 list certainly had some response. Here is a Chirpstory highlighting some of the tweets.

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Who are the UK’s 100 most influential journalists online?

We have started to curate a list of the UK’s 100 most influential journalists online. We have come up with the first 50 names, we need you to help us come up with the other 50 (and knock anyone out who shouldn’t be in the list). Tweet @journalismnews and include the hashtag #J100.

We’re using PeerIndex, a tool that provides a relative measure of your social capital and ranks you between 1 and 100. PeerIndex measures your relative effectiveness and impact on Twitter and can score anyone with a Twitter account. By signing up to PeerIndex you can also associate your LinkedIn, Facebook, Quora and Tumblr accounts, helping PeerIndex to provide a more accurate ranking.

This score reflects the impact of your online activities, and the extent to which you have built up social and reputational capital on the web.

At its heart PeerIndex addresses the fact that merely being popular (or having gamed the system) doesn’t indicate authority. Instead we build up your authority finger print on a category-by-category level using eight benchmark topics.

Someone, however, cannot be authority without a receptive audience. We don’t simply mean a large audience but one that listens and is receptive. To capture this aspect PeerIndex Rank includes the audience score we calculate for each profile.

Finally, we include the activity score so account for someone who is active has a greater share of attention of people interested in the topics they are interested in.

Here is an example the scoring system.

If you are in the top 20 per cent by authority in a topic like climate change [or in this case, as a journalist], it means you have higher authority than 80 per cent of other people who we measure within this topic. Your normalized authority score for this topic (the one displayed on your page) will be in the range of 55 to 65 (that is, significantly lower than 80).

But remember, a score of 60 puts you higher that 80 per cent of people we track in that topic. A score of 65, means you rank higher than 95 per cent of the people we track. And we focus on tracking the top people on a specific topic, not just anyone.

There are more details about scores and rankings here and here.

If you’re interested in finding out your score, enter your Twitter login details on the PeerIndex website and you’ll get your own ‘vital statistics’. You’ll also be able to select topics of relevance and compare yourself to others. You do not have to be registered to be included in our list of top 100 UK journalists by online authority

PeerIndex statistics

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