A better way to measure Twitter influence

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In Sunday’s N.Y. Times Magazine, the great David Leonhardt lists his 10 most influential people on Twitter, and explains why that’s not always congruent with their number of followers: “[O]ne of Twitter’s founders, Evan Williams, made the point to me recently: someone with millions of followers may no longer post messages frequently, while someone followed by mere tens of thousands may be a prolific poster whose messages are amplified by others. … We asked the people at Twitalyzer, an independent research firm, to study the question, and they came back with something called the Influence Index. It counts the number of times somebody’s Twitter name is mentioned by other users … The Influence Index doesn’t merely measure who’s talking on Twitter, but it also measures how much someone is affecting the conversation.”http://bit.ly/gALWWs

Leonhardt’s findings:

–10 Most-Influential People (Among the 100 most followed individuals on Twitter): 1. Rafinha Bastos 2. Chad Ochocinco 3. Conan O’Brien 4. Stephen Fry 5. Ryan Seacrest 6. Snoop Dogg 7. Barack Obama 8. Rainn Wilson 9. Kim Kardashian 10. Huck Luciano

–10 Most Followed People: 1. Lady Gaga 2. Justin Bieber 3. Britney Spears 4. Barack Obama 5. Ashton Kutcher 6. Kim Kardashian 7. Ellen DeGeneres 8. Katy Perry 9. Taylor Swift 10. Oprah Winfrey

–Technology most influential: 1. Bill Gates 2. Biz Stone 3. Tim O’Reilly 4. Jack Dorsey 5. Tony Hsieh

–Republican Contenders most influential: 1. Sarah Palin 2. Mike Huckabee 3. Jim DeMint 4. Donald Trump 5. Newt Gingrich

–Religion most influential: 1. Rick Warren 2. Joel Osteen 3. Deepak Chopra 4. Dalai Lama 5. Joyce Meyer [Playbook pick: @DesiringGod, where Etter works]

–Sports most influential: 1. Serena Williams 2. Lance Armstrong 3. Shaquille O’Neal 4. Dwight Howard 5. Tony Hawk [Playbook pick: @TimTebow]

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.