View the high-resolution image at (http://www.flickr.com/photos/politweet/7842715014/in/photostream/)
This network graph shows the connections between Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) with their followers on Twitter. It visualises the size of the followers exclusive to each coalition, and the size of the overlap. This version is colour-saturated to show the partisanship a bit more clearly.
This graph is based on a snapshot of followers taken on August 2nd 2012. There are 1,036,932 total followers.
- The red node represents PR. The blue node represents BN. The nodes are sized based on the number of followers.
- Each grey node represents 1 Twitter user. A node is connected to BN/PR if that user follows BN/PR.
- Connections to BN are blue, connections to PR are red. Overlapping (purple) connections indicate non-exclusive users.
- Connection strength is based on the number of politicians followed by the user.
- Nodes that are connected only to BN or PR are exclusive to that coalition.
Facts and Observations
- PR has 314,302 followers. BN has 876,138 followers. BN has 2.788 times more followers than PR.
- Active followers have used Twitter in the last 1-2 months.PR has 188,045 (59.83%) active followers. BN has 507,899 (57.97%) active followers.
- PR has 151,822 (48.3%) exclusive followers. BN has 719,341 (82.1%) exclusive followers.
- PR has a relatively small group of exclusive followers compared to BN. The PR-exclusive followers are the left-most semi-circular clusters (forming a red ‘fan’), representing 48% of all PR followers. The remainder of PR’s followers follow both BN and PR.
- The BN-exclusive group are concentrated in the top and bottom clusters. Its clear that either cluster is bigger than the PR-exclusive cluster.
- PR-exclusive followers start following both BN and PR at an average rate of 1935 users/month.
- BN-exclusive followers start following both BN and PR at an average rate of 929 users/month.
- PR-exclusive and BN-exclusive followers switch parties at very small rates, between 19-59 users/month.
- PR has grown from 269,473 followers in March 2012 to 314,302 followers in August 2012. That is a growth rate of 16.64%.
- BN has grown from 624,227 followers in March 2012 to 876,138 followers in August 2012. That is a growth rate of 40.63%.
PR has a slow follower growth rate and a higher migration rate of exclusive followers to non-exclusive status. This indicates that PR followers are more open to receiving messages from BN.
BN has a high follower growth rate and a lower migration rate of exclusive followers to non-exclusive status. This indicates that BN followers are less open to receiving messages from PR.
Barisan Nasional is doing quite well for itself. One area that could use improvement is the number of active followers.
Pakatan Rakyat faces a number of challenges. First is to ensure their followers don’t move towards being BN-exclusive. Second challenge is to get more BN followers to move away from being BN-exclusive to being non-exclusive; or PR-exclusive. This will help expose users to PR policies and ideologies. If they can repeat the PR message to BN-exclusive users, that will help improve the migration rate and encourage even more users to follow.
Both coalitions need to acquire more active followers who will help spread their message through retweets.
Observer (0 tweets, 0 followers): 123,825
Inactive (no change in last 2 months): 223,323
Breakdown of PR followers:
Observer (0 tweets, 0 followers): 25,398
Inactive (no change in last 2 months): 92,804
Observer accounts are potential dummies. However many people do use Twitter as a news reader, so you can expect a significant number of Observer users to be real people. Many users also leave their accounts idle until there is a live event happening.
Breakdown of BN followers (not including @NajibRazak):
Observer (0 tweets, 0 followers): 49,167
Inactive (no change in last 2 months): 60,243
446,146 (56.87%) of Najib’s 784,477 followers are active. Najib gets retweeted often by a large number of users, so the influence of the account during the next GE cannot be discounted. A detailed analysis of Najib’s followers is definitely something worth exploring in future.