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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Erin White | EurekAlert
WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
25.05.2018 | Event News
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering
25.05.2018 | Life Sciences