Belfast’s Most Influential Twitterers

This article in the Belfast Telegraph caused a fair amount of discussion and hilarity on Twitter on Tuesday when I exclusively announced the most influential and popular Users in Belfast (and Holywood, come to that).  

This is the original – slightly longer version

I am happy to announce that I am the most popular and most influential Twitter User in Holywood. That I appear to be the only Twitter User in Holywood makes me slightly sceptical of this result from www.wefollow.com.  I know at least two other Twitter Users in this house so I can’t be the only one in this town.  However in my Twitter settings I am probably the only person to have set “Holywood” as my Location.

At time of writing (so if you try this at home you might not get the same result as me – things can move fast in the Twittersphere) using “Belfast” as a search tag I discover that @nomoreart is the Most Influential User in Belfast.  If you already know Marty Neill Director of No More Art and member of the Digital Circle Steering Group, you will probably not be too surprised at this result.  Neither will you be too surprised by who are the top 5:

2 @alaninbelfast
3 @icedcoffee
4 @stuartgibson
5 @escapeact

There is no explanation of how the site concludes that someone is “influential”; it is not by counting the number of followers.  There is a different section for that where we discover that @EamonnHolmes is the most popular with around 8,000 followers.  The next people (as opposed to organisations and businesses) are

2 @icedcoffee
3 @
leelowe
4 @
stuartgibson
5 @
alaninbelfast

What is interesting though is that all of these people know each other (with the probable exclusion of Eamonn who we all know, but I don’t know how many he knows).  They talk to each other and meet up at events like Open Coffee and BarCamps.   I would wager that most of the people on your Friends Lists on Twitter, Facebook and so on are actual, real, see from time to time friends, work with, go to school with non-cyberworld friends.  I shake my head and wonder at the narrowness of those who criticise people – particularly young people – for spending so much time on Social Media. 

The Internet does not replace real life, it affirms and extends it. 

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