Will South Africa’s real Top Twits please stand up

Posted on July 7, 2011

Update : See the final list here : j-j.co.za/toptwits (updated monthly)

The Strategy Worx recently released their ‘Social Media in SA – The Numbers‘ Report for Quarter two. Makes some interesting reading. There is some discussion on Google Plus here.

In the report is a list of  the Top 20 South African twitter personalities. The list was interesting, but on reflection seemed to be missing some of the people who I would have expected to be in the report.  There appear to be some obvious missing ones eg. DJ Fresh 98 656 followers and Pigspotter (Cliff) with 61 000 Jack Parrow 22 281 Steven Pienaar (ok, he lives in the UK most of the time) 67 480 John Robbie 23 377, Bryan Habana 46 270 etc etc

I quickly posted a question on the discussion asking what was the selection criteria for this? After going back and reading the report more closely I found the reference : http://twitaholic.com/top100/following/bylocation/South%20Africa/

Going onto Twitaholic and playing a little gave some insight into the problem. The query used only picks you up if you list South Africa (Country), not City, Country (Eg. Durban South Africa).

This is very clear, Bruce Attridge in Durban, South Africa has 213 000 followers and is top of the Durban list, but doesn’t come up (would be 1st) in the South Africa query. Problem. Playing a bit more and you find that Durban, Durban South Africa and South Africa all produce different lists.

To top it all off, looking at the follower numbers shows some more problems. I am listed way down on the list (not that I have that many followers), but the numbers were vastly different from what Twitter shows as my followers. It seems the list is quite dated. If you click on a user, there is a button to “Update my Stats!” which can be used once a day. A manual process – though some numbers are more recent than others. Ok, so the data is flawed.

I started looking for other sources of information to find SA’s top Twits. I found Fuseware’s twitter report 2010. A bit dated, and seems as bad if not worse than Twitaholic. Then I found Twitter Counter. It allows you to search by time zone. Most South African’s have “Harare/Pretoria” selected. Ran a search with that and came up with another set of results.

Again, this didn’t tie up with the various Twitaholic results and my knowledge of those I follow. What to do.

Take the best of the lot.  Combine them all, sort them, knowing that the information is inaccurate, but that the combine result would be better than none. So that is what I did, ran all the queries, cleaned up the results and mangled them into a spreadsheet. I went through some of them and verified/updated the numbers based on what Twitter itself was reporting, so we really have a mix. That said, it is better than what was out there and is a good start, probably with a whole lot more work to be done.

I verified the top 20 (and some others) to the current numbers listed in Twitter, then sorted by numbers of followers. Take it with a pinch of salt, and then add more salt 🙂

So here they are: (South) Africa’s top 50 Twits (the rough and ready guide)

Pastor Chris (PastorChrisLive) :  Africa : 1033857
Bruce Attridge (@Brat13) : Durban, South Africa : 236513
Gareth Cliff (GarethCliff) :  South Africa : 145251
Graeme Smith (GraemeSmith49) :  South Africa : 124477
Thato Fresh Sikwane (@DJFreshSA) : ÜT: -26.097024,27.951438 : 98829
Humor Negro (HumorNegroo) :  Africa : 71598
Cliff-that's all. (PigSpotter) :  Johannesburg : 61092
Tina Cook (@Tinacook) : South Africa : 59573
5FM (@5FM) : Johannesburg, South Africa : 57888
Julius Sello Malema (@Julius_S_Malema) : Johannesburg, South Africa : 56528
Nico Baird (@nicobaird) :  South Africa : 50109
Euphonik (@euphonik) : ÜT: -26.146292,28.037067 : 47666
Bryan Habana® (@BryanHabana) : Cape Town : 46358
Emmanuel & Abbie (@LifeCanBeDffrnt) : Centurion, South Africa : 42673
Social Cancer Cure (@Erica__B) ** unsure if this is SA ** : TwiTTerVerSe : 40296
Sizwe Dhlomo (@SizweDhlomo) : (not listed) : 40049
David Graham (@DavidGrahamSA) :  : 36382
NINJA (DieAntwoord) :  Cape Town : 35698
Business Report (@busrep) :  : 33849
Bob Skinstad (@BobSkinstad) :  Cape Town : 32238
Eran Eyal (EranEyal) :  Cape Town : 28633
Online Beauty (online_beauty) :  South Africa : 25922
Lira (@Miss_LIRA) :  : 25241
sasha martinengo (@F1sasha) :  : 25199
News24 (News24) :  South Africa : 23479
Christian Republic (@BibleThoughts) : Cape Town, South Africa : 22613
Club808 (@Club808) :  : 22317
Adesoji Oseni (Adesoji) :  Africa : 21990
Francois Du Plessis (@faf1307) : Pretoria : 19839
Edwin Lange (@big_edlange) : Kempton Park, South Africa : 18404
MTVbaseAfrica - REAL (@MTVbaseAfrica) :  : 17540
Big Brother Africa (BigBroAfrica) :  Africa : 16769
Neels De Lange (@NeelsDL) : South Africa : 16540
Quinton Carroll (BigProfit) :  South Africa : 16129
Nora Shalaby (@norashalaby) :  : 16128
geoffrey gordon (geoffreygordon) :  South Africa : 15960
Vodacom (Vodacom) :  South Africa : 15819
Justin Harrison (justinharrison) :  South Africa : 15721
Guerrilla Warfare™ (@Guerrillawar) :  : 15658
geoffrey gordon (@geoffreygordon) : South Africa : 15555
Ory Okolloh (@kenyanpundit) :  : 15322
Trevor Madondo (@TrevorMadondo) :  : 15073
SA Child (kidsdirect) :  South Africa : 15036
Jodene (@jodenecoza) : Jozi, Sunny SA : 14670
Wayne G Turner (@waynegturner) :  : 14517
Donnette Davis ?_? (donnette) :  South Africa : 14286
Idols South Africa (@IdolsSA) :  : 13941
94.7 Highveld Stereo (947Highveld) :  Johannesburg : 13612
Follow Formula 1 -F1 (followf1) :  South Africa : 13429
GCE (@globaleducation) :  : 13251

I will shortly make this available as a Google Docs spreadsheet so that it can easily be accessed an updated, and the Source easily seen. In the meantime, please provide comments, feedback and let me know if any Top Twits are missing.

In the meantime here is the PDFSouth Africa’s Top Twits – Draft 1 25_7_2011 (for those that care).

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Categories: Research, Social Media, Uncategorized

2 Responses

  1. (South) Africa’s Top Twits – July 2011 (final) | j-j.co.za:

    […] Will South Africa’s real Top Twits stand up (25/7/2011) – How it all started […]

    28.07.2011 23:29 Reply

  2. The new improved (South) African Top Twits July 2011 | j-j.co.za:

    […] = 'jjza';Yesterday’s post (here) attempted to list the Top Twits (by number of followers) in (South) Africa.  If you didn’t […]

    26.07.2011 11:55 Reply

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