The JCPR Twitter Index

Warning: This post will take more than the brand promise of sixty seconds to read.

A couple of weeks ago, Jonny Bentwood and I were having a chat about Twitter’s explosion into the consumer consciousness and the extent to which it seemed to have been hi-jacked by ‘celebrities’. Jonny is the guy with whom I published the controversial Social Media Index (SMI) in July 2007. And whilst my musings tend to be thematic, or big picture as I vainly dub them, Jonny is made of much sterner stuff and so he settled down to put numbers and data around our theorising. Some of what we learned from the SMI and the input we received then has been applied this time.

After long chats with our JCPR colleagues who manage all things consumer and celeb’ for us in the UK, we are daring to publish some Twitter league tables that rank celebrities (very loosely defined and including politicians and the odd techie for example) by popularity, influence and engagement. We have also published the formula that lies behind these calculations so you can see how we got to where we have. I suspect it will horrify as many as it will amuse, but hey ho!

 

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The key variables we looked at for the INFLUENCE table are a combination of the number and authority of someone’s followers together with the frequency of people name pointing an individual (via @username) and the how many times an individual’s posts are re-tweeted. Other attributes were included in the final score but were given a lower weighting. Full details on Jonny’s blog.

POPULARITY is straightforward but by far the least interesting. It’s key variable is the number of people someone has following them.

Arguably the most profound table is ENGAGEMENT where the key variables are an individual’s participation with the Twitter community (as measured by the Involvement Index), with additional emphasis on the frequency of people name pointing an individual (via @username), the numbers of followers and the signal to noise ratio. Other attributes were included in the final score but were given a lower weighting.

The list of ‘celebrity’ names we put through the machine were gleaned from the now large number of lists that have been published, all of which seem do little more that look at numbers of followers. Apologies if we missed any from that and again, the full devious complexity of Jonny’s calculations can be found in his post. So what’s the story?

Ashton Kutcher may be the most popular figure on Twitter but Jonathan Ross (he’s a kind of UK version of Jay Leno for my American friends) is the most influential and most engaged. Ross also rates higher in the influence table than Downing Street (home of the UK’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown) in 12th place and Barack Obama at 17th. Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton is in second place with Stephen Fry a close third. In addition to ‘Wossy’, as he is known, at number 1, there are six UK twitterers in the global top twenty most influential – Stephen Fry is in third place; Graham Linehan, the brains behind UK TV shows Father Ted, Black Books and the IT Crowd is at number 5; Downing Street is at 12; Jason Bradbury, host of Channel 5’s Gadget show, is at number 13 and Philip Schofield of ITV’s This Morning is at number 14. Ashton Kutcher, who famously went head to head with CNN in a race to be the first twitterer with 1 million followers is not even in the top 20 on Engagement. Demi (his wife) does much better on that count.

Within the UK by the way, comedians have really jumped on the social media bandwagon making up 40% of the UK top twenty most influential.

And of course what the tables show is that some celebrities remain very successful on Twitter by deafly broadcasting with frequency and volume, listening to no-one and talking to no-one. I guess for some, where what they do in the off-line world gives them ‘fans’ in the old sense, then this remains a valid approach. But I wonder for how long? Is rarely following back, never re-tweeting or answering someone the online equivalent of snubbing the autograph collector or the fan-letter writer? And will we see celebrities who do follow, write new and interesting content and who engage with people, translate that online authenticity into off-line fame and fortune? I suspect some of the higher scorers in the engaged column already are building a very loyal core to their fan base and are profiting from it already.

What is clear is that Twitter has changed the game for celebrities if only in that it has highlighted that they can and arguably must now invest more time in getting engaged with their fan base and that social media is a funadamental part of the mix going forward. It doesn’t have to be Twitter. Ricky Gervais seems to invest most of his efforts on his podcasts, web site and email updates. But the key thing is he invests effort and understands the medium (if that is what it is).

Our tables are very Anglo Saxon as that was the nature of the feed list of names, but if there is interest out there I would be happy to look at a European version.

Here are the three top 20 tables:

Rank Weighted by Popularity   Weighted by Influence   Weighted by Engagement
1 Ashton Kutcher Jonathan Ross Jonathan Ross
2 CNN Perez Hilton Jason Bradbury
3 Britney Spears Stephen Fry Alan Davies
4 Ellen DeGeneres Ashton Kutcher Perez Hilton
5 Twitter Graham Linehan Adam woodyatt
6 Barack Obama Demi Moore Rick Sanchez
7 Brian Dooley CNN Philip Schofield
8 Jimmy Fallon Lance Armstrong Dave Gorman
9 Shaquille O’Neill New York Times Yoko Ono
10 John Mayer Will Wheaton Neil Gaiman
11 New York Times Shaquille O’Neill Demi Moore
12 Lance Armstrong Downing Street Danny Wallace
13 Henry Dartnall Jason Bradbury Graham Linehan
14 Demi Moore Philip Schofield Jenni Falconer
15 Lizo Mzimba Soulja Boy Karl Rove
16 Perez Hilton Jimmy Fallon Andi Peters
17 Dan Tetsell Barack Obama Britney Spears
18 P Diddy John Mayer Stephen Fry
19 Coldplay Michael Arrington Dave Matthews
20 Ryan Seacrest Ryan Seacrest Coldplay

 

And here is the full 200 measured in influence order.

 

Rank

Name

Country

Segment

1

Jonathan Ross

UK

TV Presenter, Comedian

2

Perez Hilton

US

Celeb blogger

3

Stephen Fry

UK

Comedian, Actor, TV presenter

4

Ashton Kutcher

US

TV Presenter, Actor

5

Graham Linehan

UK

Sitcom writer (Father Ted, Black Books, The IT Crowd)

6

Demi Moore

US

Actress

7

CNN

US

News Service

8

Lance Armstrong

US

Cyclist, sport

9

New York Times

US

News Service

10

Will Wheaton

US

Actor

11

Shaquille O’Neill

US

Basketball player, Actor, sport

12

Downing Street

UK

UK Govt, politician

13

Jason Bradbury

UK

gadget Show host, journalist

14

Philip Schofield

UK

TV Presenter

15

Soulja Boy

US

Rapper, music

16

Jimmy Fallon

US

Comedian

17

Barack Obama

US

US President, politician

18

John Mayer

US

musician

19

Michael Arrington

US

Tech News Service

20

Ryan Seacrest

US

TV Presenter, Radio DJ

21

Greg Grunberg

US

Actor, Heroes. Tv

22

Alan Davies

UK

Comedian, Actor, TV presenter

23

Karl Rove

US

Political advisor

24

Twitter

US

Micro Blogging Platform

25

Rainn Wilson

US

Actor

26

Felicia Day

US

Actor

27

Michael Black

US

Comedian

28

Russell Brand

UK

Comedian, TV Presenter, Actor

29

Neil Gaiman

US

Author

30

Yoko Ono

US

Artist

31

Mariel Hemingway

US

Actor

32

Coldplay

UK

Music band

33

Rick Sanchez

US

American TV news anchor

34

John Hodgman

US

Comedian

35

Fred Durst

US

Musician

36

Phil Jupitus

UK

Comedian, radio show host

37

Will Carling

UK

Ex England rugby captain, sport

38

Adam Woodyatt

UK

Actor, Eastenders

39

BBC Click

UK

BBC News service

40

Snoop  Dogg

US

Rapper, music

41

Imogen Heap

UK

Musician

42

P Diddy

US

Record producer, rapper, entrepreneur , music

43

Brent Spiner

US

Actor

44

Tony Hawk

US

Professional Skateboarder, sport

45

Britney Spears

US

Singer, Music

46

Dave Matthews

US

Musician

47

Brea Grant

US

Actor

48

Penn Jillette

US

Magician

49

Joe Trippi

US

Political Adviser

50

John Cleese

UK

Actor, Comedian

51

Oprah Winfrey

US

TV show host

52

Warren Ellis

UK

Writer

53

Jenni Falconer

UK

TV presenter

54

Fearne Cotton

UK

Radio DJ, TV Presenter

55

Ellen DeGeneres

US

TV Presenter, Actress

56

Jon Favreau

US

Film Director

57

Jimmy Carr

UK

Comedian, TV Presenter

58

Hedi Monatag

US

MTV reality star

59

Jane Goldman

UK

Jonathan Ross" wife, writer

60

David Lynch

US

Film Maker

61

Tim Lovejoy

UK

TV Presenter

62

Mike Skinner

UK

TV Presenter

63

Andi Peters

UK

TV Presenter

64

James Gunn

UK

Comedian, writer

65

Pete Wentz

US

Musician

66

Dave Gorman

UK

Comedian, writer, TV show host

67

Richard Branson

UK

Owner of Virgin Group, Entrepreneur

68

Mathew Horne

UK

Comedian, Actor, TV presenter

69

Martha Stewart

US

Entrepreneur; television and magazine personality

70

Robert Llewelyn

UK

Actor, writer, TV presenter

71

Al Gore

US

American politician

72

Eddie Izzard

UK

Actor

73

Suzi Perry

UK

Gadget Show Presenter

74

Krishnan Guru Murthy

UK

C4 News Presenter

75

Travis Barker

US

Musician

76

Chris Moyles

UK

Radio DJ, TV Presenter

77

Al Yankovic

US

Comedian.

78

Paul Daniels

UK

Professional Magician

79

Danny Wallace

UK

British journalist, author, script-writer, and producer

80

Xzibit

US

Rapper, TV Presenter, music

81

Rob Brydon

UK

Actor, Comedian

82

Calvin Harris

UK

Musician

83

Paulo Coelho

Brazil

Author

84

50 Cent

US

Rapper , music

85

Miley Cyrus

US

Actor

86

Tom Felton

UK

Actor

87

William Shatner

US

Actor

88

Rory Cellan-Jones

UK

Journalist, Broadcaster

89

Jamie Oliver

UK

Chef

90

Solange Knowles

US

Singer , music

91

Bill Bailey

UK

Comedian

92

Bjork

Iceland

Singer , music

93

Toby Young

UK

Journalist, Broadcaster

94

Stan Collymore

UK

Ex-footballer, radio show host, sport

95

Kevin Smith

US

Film Director, Actor

96

Ben Goldacre

UK

Scientist, journalist

97

Arnold Schwarzenegger

US

Governor of California, former actor

98

David Hewlett

US

Actor

99

Richard Bacon

UK

TV Presenter

100

Tony Gardner

UK

Actor

101

Alexander Armstrong

UK

Comedian, writer

102

Emma Kennedy

UK

Actor, writer

103

Beverley Knight

UK

Singer, music

104

Matt Lucas

UK

Comedian, Actor, TV presenter

105

Richard Herring

UK

Comedian

106

Charlie Brooker

UK

Columnist, Writer

107

Annie Mac

UK

DJ

108

Tim Westwood

UK

DJ

109

Claudia Winkleman

UK

TV personality

110

Chris Addison

UK

Comedian

111

Alan Carr

UK

Comedian, TV Presenter

112

Scott Mills

UK

Radio 1 DJ

113

Aleksandr Orlov

UK

Comparethemeerkat

114

Rob Corddry

US

Comedian

115

Kim Kardashian

US

TV star

116

Hillary Clinton

US

Politician

117

Peter Andre

UK

Singer, music

118

Holly Willoughby

UK

TV presenter

119

Tim Minchin

Australia

Comedian, musician, actor

120

Taylor Swift

US

Singer, music

121

David Mitchell

UK

Comedian, Actor

122

Iain Lee

UK

Comedian

123

Katy Perry

US

Singer, music

124

Peaches Geldof

UK

Celeb daughter

125

Mark Kermode & Simon Mayo

UK

Radio

126

Edith Bowman

UK

Radio DJ, Presenter

127

Boris Johnson

UK

Politician: Mayor of London, Columnist

128

Janina Gavankar

US

Actor

129

Robert Webb

UK

Actor, Comedian

130

Sara Bareilles

US

Singer, music

131

Michael Phelps

US

Swimmer , sport

132

Brett Gurewitz

US

Musician

133

Kate Hewlett

US

Actor

134

Tom Harris

UK

MP, politician

135

Rufus Hound

UK

Comedian

136

Huew Stephens

UK

DJ, TV presenter

137

Lady GaGa

US

Singer , music

138

Graham Coxon

UK

Musician

139

David Schneider

UK

Comedian, actor, writer

140

Reggie Yates

UK

Radio DJ, TV Presenter

141

Brooke Hogan

US

Singer, music

142

Mandy Moore

US

Actor

143

Kelly Clarkson

US

Singer , music

144

John Thompson

UK

Actor, comedian

145

David Baddiel

UK

Comedian, TV presenter

146

Liam Gallagher

UK

Musician/Singer

147

Jamie Cullum

UK

Musician

148

Shanna Moakler

US

Musician

149

Heidi Range

UK

Singer/Sugababes, music

150

Vanessa Hudgens

US

Actress, Singer, music

151

Josie Long

UK

Comedian

152

Demi Lovato

US

Musician

153

Adam Buxton

UK

Writer/Comedian

154

Declan Curry

UK

Business journalist/BBC TV Presenter

155

Andy Murray

UK

Tennis Player, sport

156

Hugh Jackman

Australia

Actor

157

Elizabeth Banks

US

Actor

158

Ben Miller

UK

Comedian, writer

159

Dan Tetsell

UK

Comedian, writer

160

Melora Hardin

US

Actor

161

Regina Spektor

US

Musician

162

Mark Watson

UK

Comedian

163

Kyran Bracken

UK

Sports – rugby

164

Katherine Parkinson

UK

Actor

165

John Prescott

UK

Politician, Former

Deputy PM

166

Brian Dooley

UK

Comedian, writer, TV show host

167

Robin Williams

US

Comedian, Actor, TV presenter

168

Armando Iannucci

UK

Writer, comedian

169

Lee Unkrich

US

Director, entertainer

170

Katie Price

UK

Model

171

Ronan Keating

Ireland

Singer/Boyzone , music

172

Billie Piper

UK

Actress

173

Rumer Wilis

US

Celebrity Daughter

174

Alexandra Burke

UK

Singer , music

175

Judge Jules

UK

DJ, TV presenter

176

Will Self

UK

Writer/Comedian

177

John McCain

US

Politician

178

Lauren Conrad

US

MTV reality star

179

Neil Innes

UK

Comedian, writer

180

Lizo Mzimba

UK

Journalist, Broadcaster

181

Jamie Oliver

UK

Musician

182

Raef Bjoyou

UK

TV personality – The Apprentice

183

Miranda Hart

UK

Comedian, writer

184

Henry Dartnall

UK

Musician

185

Hulk Hogan

US

Retired Wrestling Legend, sport

186

Lily Allen

UK

Singer, music

187

Selena Gomez

US

Actor

188

Joe Biden

US

US VP, Politician

189

Alex Zane

UK

TV presenter

190

Drew Pinsky

US

Dr. Drew TV Star

191

MC Hammer

US

Rapper, Musician

192

Mischa Barton

US

Actress

193

Steve Coogan

UK

Comedian, writer

194

Jusint Lee Collins

UK

TV presenter

195

Tom Green

US

Actor, comedian, writer

196

Graham Norton

UK

Comedian, TV Presenter

197

Alexa Chung

UK

DJ, TV presenter

198

Gail Emms

UK

Sport, badminton

199

Dave Berry

UK

TV Presenter

200

Lethal Bizzle

UK

Musician

 

Categories Technology

20 thoughts on “The JCPR Twitter Index

  1. Very interesting post. We’ve actually been having some similar discussions around this topic in relation to search queries. A few weeks back we put up an experimental “Influencers Tool” which takes a first pass at the problem (http://sideline.yahoo.com/influencers). Ultimately, we aim to work this type of metric into Sideline (http://sideline.yahoo.com) based on user feedback.

    Like

  2. Adam Buxton isn’t even on Twitter anymore!
    And where’s Peter Serafinowicz????

    Like

  3. Since when has Jamie Oliver been a musician as his main job?

    Like

  4. ….and Jane Goldman is not just Jonathan Ross’s wife, she is a writer, and Rainn Wilson is not a musician he is an actor from The Office an American Workplace.

    Like

  5. To answer a few of your questions:

    Lozbot – you are right Adam Buxton left a few days ago after this blog post was written. In the next version, you will see him removed and many other people jump up (that’s why a ‘velocity index’ is so important.

    Louisa – There are two Jamie Oliver’s (the cheek of it). The second one is a musician from the Lostprophets (one word …I checked) and not the same one that makes pucka food for Sainsbury’s)

    Charlie – Will update Jane and Rainn’s profile – thanks for the post. We try and keep this as up-to-date as possible.

    Like

  6. And where’s Peter Serafinowicz????

    We used several lists of top celeb tweeters/twitterers?, there will always be people left out but we will makes sure Peter and anyone else that people think should be included will make the list next time.

    Perhaps the bigger questions is – ‘just who is a celebrity’ – but that is for another blog post 🙂

    Like

  7. Idiotwithamission May 6, 2009 — 1:54 pm

    Who really gives a shit? This is so silly as to beg the question? Are you two so fucking bored out of your minds that this is all you could come up with?

    Like

  8. Idiotwithamission: you mean the knowledge that the meerkat is more influential than Boris doesn’t help you? http://www.marketingmagazine.co.uk/news/903654/Meerkat-Alexandr-Orlov-influential-Boris-Johnson-John-Prescott-Hillary-Clinton/

    Like

  9. …and Warren Ellis is a writer

    Like

  10. Thanks Zaws – will update the list to reflect this

    Like

  11. Can of worms…

    Ironically, I went to a SEO workshop today and the number 1 link baiting tool was lists. At the time of writing you’ve been mentioned 407 times on the Web and you are the top Google news result when the search term “Twitter” is used – congrats on your own PR.

    I’m still unsure about the influence of Twitter and people on Twitter. I know its definitely something to consider as part of Pr campaigns but apart from that I’m a bit stuck. However, your list and methodology goes much further than most to calculate influence.

    Thankfully you didn’t mention any of the social media folk here in the UK or you would be getting so much abuse 🙂

    Like

  12. Tim,

    We are used to abuse. Look the fact is people love and hate lists. But beyond the noise there is a methodology here and actually three types of ranking. If you think that this was about link baiting then you have spent way too much time in those SEO sessions and are developing a paranoia. We are not even being definititive or trying to narrow down a debate but we are suggesting that to come to any conclusion on a person’s power/influence/engagement/popularity, call it what you will, that you have to make a series of small value calls that add up to one big value call. That’s what our formula tries to do. And for heavens sake Tim, you work for a PR company in the PR industry so please don’t get sniffy about the fact that this got talked about. Yes we are happy about that, but we are also looking to people to comment on the formula and the weighting. Have a look at that mate and give us your view. Genuinely we want it. And as for mentioning the “social media folk” here in the UK and their abuse…..I really could not give a toss. I think some people pay way too much attention to what a few elitist, self referencing, self appointed and shrill commentators think.

    Like

  13. Hi David, Apologies, it looks like I’ve criticised you guys at Edelman for the list but I didn’t. I think it won’t do you any harm in the search engines and its making people talk about you and your list – which is certainly not a bad thing.

    I think the way you have calculated influence (as explained on Jonny’s post) is thorough but by covering something as intangible as “influence” there are bound to be arguments and criticisms. The one thing that is difficult to track is the quality of content of each tweet. However, I suppose the quality can be measured by the number of retweets and responses?

    I like the fact that you’ve used Twinfluence in your methodology (I haven’t used it before and only now realised that it basically measures what we and people who have read up on social network analyst call “inbetweeness”). I’m not sure what your weighting is for this but you mentioned in your post that it would be given “a lower weighting”. I think inbetweeness should be weighted more highly as that person may not have a huge number of followers but is vital for messages to be passed between groups (have a look here: http://www.si.umich.edu/~rfrost/courses/SI110/readings/In_Out_and_Beyond/Granovetter.pdf for more info on the Strength of weak ties).

    Again the main thing about the methodology is the weighting. It looks like you have covered all bases, although there seems to be a bit of an overlap between tools used to assess influence – Twitter Grader being the one that sticks out and overlaps already with a lot of the criteria you are already using. However, again this can all be solved by how you’ve weighted it – can you tell us exactly how you’ve done this so we can try it with our networks?

    Having previously said that you shouldn’t use the UK social media folk in the list, I would actually be interested in applying your methodology to say the Top 10 PR Week or Wadds’ list. These are the people who influence me to read and try new things so I would be interested to see where, say Neville Hobson or Wadds rank. (I know Jonny mentioned he was creating an analyst list which should be quite interesting).

    Like

  14. Thanks Tim for some great points. I’d like to respond to each point in turn…

    The one thing that is difficult to track is the quality of content of each tweet. However, I suppose the quality can be measured by the number of retweets and responses?

    These areas are covered by 2 metrics. Twitalyzer’s noise to signal ratio and Edelman’s own Involvement Index. Both these variables aim to look at the type of tweet someone makes, its relevance, noise and engagement.

    it basically measures what we and people who have read up on social network analyst call “inbetweeness”. I’m not sure what your weighting is for this but you mentioned in your post that it would be given “a lower weighting”

    Absolutely – even though we have focussed in the larger list on ‘influence’, the smaller version has a weighting I have called engagement – which could also be termed inbetweeness.
    The reason why I have given the automated tools a lower weighting is that I didn’t want to double count. Edelman’s own ‘Involvement Index’ is far more transparent to me and gives me a greater degree of confidence that the number I have assigned is fairer. This variable has been given a higher weighting – but you are right in that this particular part is incredibly important which is why it has been given such emphasis in the final score.

    can you tell us how you’ve weighted it – can you tell us exactly how you’ve done this so we can try it with our networks?

    This is Edelman/JCPR IP. However, we did speak to many ‘knowledgeable’ people in the community before finalising our weighting to ensure that it was a fair system. I believe the results justify that the weighting does seem to work – although I am always happy to hear how it can be improved.

    I would actually be interested in applying your methodology to say the Top 10 PR Week or Wadds’ list.

    I am hoping that this methodology can be applied to any segment of people – from PR folk in the UK, to politicians, techies, analysts, healthcare pros etc. Now that we have the formula, we can use this to any group of people.

    Thanks again for your time to make such a detailed comment, I hope this answers your questions clearly. If not, ask again and I will let you know my thoughts.

    Like

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