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How to search Twitter bios for data with Twiangulate


We've enabled search for Twitter bios. This should be useful for journalists and researchers trying to dig out new sources or to quantify the importance of a particular type of personality on Twitter. I've done some quick digging and turned up a bunch of fun factlets and trendoids.

Journalists and Twitter

For example, if you're an analyst trying to get a grip on which newspapers are making the biggest inroads on Twitter, you might be interested to note that the search for "New York Times" (x "author" and "bestseller) turns up 421 tweeps, while the same search for the Washington Post turns up only 247 tweeps. The same search for Wall Street Journal turns up 202 tweeps.

It's interesting to note that WSJ's top 50 tweeps are almost all "house" accounts -- for example "WSJ Health" and "WSJ Real Estate" -- rather than individual journalists.

Does this reflect a relative lack of name-brand journalists at WSJ versus NYT and WAPO, or, more likely, a WSJ corporate policy against professional tweeting? (And if the latter, is Rupert Murdoch seeking to keep his journalists from building cachet that would give them more leverage in haggling over salary?)

Causes and Twitter

What does it mean that 724 tweeps include NRA in their Twitter bios, while just 67 tweeps self-identify as Sierra Club members.

There are 6,240 "liberal" tweeps , 11,259 "conservative" tweeps, 4,234 "progressive" tweeps. 1,269 mention TCOT.

Cities

45,120 tweeps mention Boston while 33,666 mention Dallas. (Relative to population, Dallas should have roughly twice as many tweeps as Boston.)

Health

6,751 tweeps mention cancer in their bios, 1,155 mention diabetes

Sports

Fully 2,007 tweeps mention the Red Sox, overshadowed by the 3,110 tweeps mentioningYankee. 425 tweeps are Tarheels, 1,126 mention Harvard and 709 mention Yale.

Speaking of sports, 10,272 tweeps are runners, 8,167 tweeps mention tennis and 17,594 mention golf.