Andrew Garcia Phillips, one of the data viz geniuses over at Chartball, has sent us the company’s latest project: A sprawling map of the pro sports Twitterverse. In one zoomable map, it shows you who speaks loudest in the realm of pro-sports tweeting. The short answer? While celebrity athletes such as Shaq and Chad Ochocinco command a huge following, the pro-sports media outlets are far more intensely networked–meaning that their tweets command a pretty large megaphone due to network effects, not just fame.
One of the things you notice quickly is the vast differences between the realms of pro-sports athletes and the people doing the most commentating. By and large, athletes only follow athletes. Reporters also follow athletes, they mostly follow each other. The two galaxies don’t really engage much at all–and it’s rare to find a pro athlete that actually follows more than one or two sports reporters or news athletes. The sports-news outlets, however, all follow each other–making us think that your typical tweet on those networks is far more impactful. You’ve got to wonder if maybe there’s a more advanced strategy of designing your network.
In all, fun stuff–and maybe just a little hint of the future. You can easily imagine charts such as these being used by marketers figuring out exactly who they want to reach in order to gain visibility with specific demographics.