Social media is powered by cat ladies


I’ve been in training with Altimeter Group’s Charlene Li and Ed Terpening for the last couple of days. One of the case studies that came up in passing was the US department store chain Kohl’s Facebook Page (more than 9 million likes at time of writing.) Here’s a quick flow map of the last 2.5k […]

Lil Wayne and the Facebook breast cancer meme.

Another chapter in the “like if you hate cancer” story. Interestingly, user posts on Lil Wayne’s Page don’t seem to be visible to other fans; so did the initial impetus for this post come from Lilquan’s own social graph? There’s a Facebook property, page_fan that I’ve been looking at in the hope that I can […]

How photos spread virally through Facebook

Three videos on Facebook Stories from Stamen Design visualise how photos posted by George Takei were shared and re-shared over time. Stamen’s work is always wonderful — this is remarkable. There’s no rubric, but I’m assuming that this is a form of network graph — where each node may itself become the source of new […]

Coca Cola and the Breast Cancer Awareness Meme

I’ve collected over 1,100 posts from Coca Cola’s Facebook Page that follow (more or less) this format: Coca cola, I have a proposal. You have 9million followers if I can get 2million likes, you have to change one of the colors on your cans to pink. And you have to donate 30% of the profits […]

Some basic R resources

R The R Project (software and manuals) John M Quick’s R Tutorial Series Computing for Data Analysis at Coursera. the R-Podcast Cookbook for R Quick R Perl and R Machine Learning for Hackers (O’Reilly) (££) L Francis: Text Mining Handbook – Casualty Actuarial Society ggplot2 (for pretty charts) Hadley Wickham’s ggplot2 General Tony Hirst’s

Log Scales


I’m learning at long last how changing scales can expose patterns. Today I’ve been looking at the Facebook Page of Marks & Spencer (a UK retailer.) Using a linear scale on the y-axis, we see how engagement has increased rapidly over recent months. That’s pretty much text book stuff for a well-run Page. But by […]

Bookmarklet: Get Facebook Likes, Shares and Comments for any URL

I’ve been trying to tell stories about Facebook’s Graph API, and what it means for advertisers. It’s not immediately easy. To help me, I’ve cobbled together a simple bookmarklet which pulls some very specific (but relevant to me) information from Facebook. I’ve never built a bookmarklet before (frankly, I lack the JavaScript nous.) Feel free […]