By Elvis Bando and Chris Orwa
The internet is a rough place when you are on the adversarial end of Kenyans on Twitter (KoT). Such was the case when Owaahh missed out the prize on two nominations at this year’s BAKE Awards. KOT did not miss to provide their potent dosage of witty humor, but this wasn’t devoid of festered anger given the splendid coverage of The Sack of Imperial Bank by Owaahh!
Elvis and I decided to dig into the voting data to find explanation to this anomaly. Straight to BAKE’s website captured the total number of votes for each blog and supplemented the data with three other data points. Alexa ranking, which indicates a blog’s popularity at a certain time, number of Facebook likes and number of Twitter followers. The assumption is that a blog with higher Alexa ranking has more readership while large following on Twitter and Facebook creates a good reach to solicit votes.
While Owaahh had the highest Alexa ranking at the time coupled with the highest number of Twitter followers and comparable Facebook likes, he came third after Mummy Tales and Amira Africa. If we were to construct a compound index that utilizes votes, alexa rank, Facebook likes and Twitter follower, Owaahh would have ranked top, followed by Mummy Tales and at third Amira Africa. Given the anomaly, it was worth digging further into the phenomenon.
The next best course of action is to undertake an analysis of how other blogs in the same category were able to better solicit for votes. To that end, we looked at “who is following who” on Twitter among the nominated blogs.
The network diagram shows that Owaahh followed almost everyone on the list but close to no one followed him back. But it get’s better, there is a cluster of blogs that highly follow each other on Twitter. This presents a interesting concept in information propagation. There is high information flow within this cluster given information tends to bounce a lot in a tight loop. Outside the cluster, trading favors for retweeting/mentioning each other may not be beneficial due to low information propagation. All Mummy Tales needed was a mention/retweet from this circle.