TweetHeroes is a Twitter app that discovers and ranks influential users tweeting on specific topics. We built it to make sense of the conversations, players, and networks in Twitter. We know about wefollow, Klout, twitaholic, and Twitalyzer among others. They just didn’t show us what we wanted to see or how we wanted to see it. So we built our own social media analytics thingy. Here are three ways you can use it.
Want to know the central players in networks that are tweeting about Boston, Seattle, Ottawa or 30 other North American cities? How about political networks like the Tea Party or Gov 2.0? Check out our topic-specific ranking pages like this one for New York City:
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Over the past couple of months, our team has been working on TweetHeroes — a Twitter tool to discover and rank influential users on specific topics (among other things). During this time I’ve followed the #yeg stream, let’s say obsessively. And I’ve noticed that the debate over the Edmonton City Centre Airport (#ecca) is pretty much a constant, consistently trending among the influential #yeg users.
There are two sides to the debate: support the plebiscite or dead issue, move on. So where does everyone stand?
Good question. Because our team is conditioned to see everything in terms of networks, we decided to dig into the #yeg #ecca stream over the past couple of months to see how the players in this tempest are connected. We identified #yeg Twitter users who’ve tweeted at least twice about #ecca and #yeg in that roughly two-month time frame. We then built the retweet network for these users, connecting two users if either one has retweeted the other. (Twitter retweets on issue-specific tags are excellent indicators of affinity or a shared position.)
At this point, we had a confusing and densely connected graph — the #ecca tag is very popular! What we really wanted to know though was where everyone stood, not just on the issue, but in relation to each other. Who was on each side? Who was central? Who was supporting whom?
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