Social media sites are in some repects like playgrounds. There are people you want to avoid, but there are people you really want to be friends with.
Take Twitter, a place where people can post anything that goes throught their mind, in under 150 characters. Once you register, you can “follow” other people and entities to read what’s on their mind. Conversely, others can “follow” you and read what you are up to.
I had a feeling that if Warren Buffet were on twitter under his own name, most people would want to “follow” him but he may not necesarilly be interested in turn, in “following” them. From there, I posit that the coolest people on twitter are those whom everybody want to follow while they, chose more carefully whom they are following.
I therefore came-up with the “wer/wing” ratio which gives a score to everyone who is on twitter.
The formula is this: (Number of followers / Number following) multiplied by the Log of numbers of followers.
My twitter score is 0.96. I “follow” 141 people while only 73 “follow” me.
If you plug these numbers in the formula, you get:
(73/141) x Log (73) = 0.96
Let’s pretend for the time being that the formula were shortened to: number of followers / number of people you follow (in my case 73/141=0.518). WBUR on twitter scores 1.01 (759/763). The problem is that if you leave the formula as is, it doesn’t account for the order of magnitude; 2/1 gives the same score as 400 / 200. So to account for the order of magnitude I take the Log (base 10) of the number of followers and multiply to the previous score. (Here is a list of selected Logs to give you a sense of what it does to the formula)
Log 10 = 1
Log 100 = 2
Log 500 = 2.70
Log 1000 = 3
So here is the coolnest scores for following people:
|A / B||0.52||1.01||1.01||1.73|
|(A / B) X (Log A) =||0.96||2.90||3.68||4.57|
So you now get a sense of how the ranking is possible through these scores.
However, there are refinements that can be brought. The most imporant to me is the quality of the “follower”. There should be a way to account for the “quality” of the link. In other words, if someone like Warren Buffet follows you how many other normal links is that worth?
This can be more relevant in a social, and more professional, network like Linkedin where your chances of getting ahead are improved by the quality of the links you have.