Tweet this, Ashton Kutcher, Lady Gaga and Britney Spears. Just because you have a ton of followers on Twitter doesn’t necessarily mean you’re among the most influential people in the Twitterverse, according to researchers from Northwestern University.
If you really want to know the most influential people tweeting on the hot topics of the day, go to pulseofthetweeters.com. The website went online in May and has been tracking the top trending topics from Twitter in real time ever since.
The website was created in the laboratory of Alok Choudhary, John G. Searle Professor and chair of electrical engineering and computer science at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. It grew out of the thesis project of Ph.D. candidate Ramanathan Narayanan.
“The question we’re really asking is: whose opinions are most interesting and influential on any given topic?” Narayanan said.
The website uses a specialized algorithm to rank the most influential people tweeting on trending topics. For example, if you are interested in baseball playoffs, the website will rank the most influential Twitter users who actively tweet about baseball playoffs and also have a following of baseball fans who tweet about the sport.
“There are about 50 million tweets produced every day, but most of us only read 10 or 20 tweets in one sitting,” Narayanan said. “So, which tweets should you read? Which tweets are being read by media experts on any given subject, such as politics, law, fashion, food? We provide that information for users.”
The algorithm for the website combines dynamic data mining, sentiment analysis and network analysis in real time. Besides identifying the most influential tweeters, the algorithm can tell you whether their tweets are positive, negative or neutral. It also offers related topics to explore.
"Discovering patterns, opinions and sentiments from massive number of tweets is challenging in itself, but discovering influencers and leaders for specific topics is a major technological advance in data mining," said Choudhary, also a professor at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.
While celebrities gain huge followings in the Twitterverse, the top influencers on the hot topics of the day are likely to be people with much lower profiles.
“If someone from BP is tweeting about the oil spill, for example, his opinions are likely to carry much more weight and be of much greater interest than those of Ashton Kutcher, who has a legion of followers,” Narayanan said.
The technology can filter out spam, too. It is able to identify bots that send bogus tweets and rank them at the bottom of search results.
“The good thing about our system is it’s completely automatic, and it needs minimal human supervision,” Narayanan said. “We are able to generate really useful choices for people who are interested in Twitter.”
In the future, the website could track many more topics, including those that are not trending on Twitter.
“The website could be used by companies who want to know what people are saying about their product,” Narayanan said. “They could find out if top influencers are saying positive, negative or neutral things about their product, and that may have a lot of implications.”
Erin White is the broadcast editor. Contact her at email@example.com
Erin White | EurekAlert
Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland
Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy