Saturday, December 04, 2010

Quick Look: Tumblr Reblogs

The nice thing about Tumblr, is it's kinda like Twitter in that you can repost something someone else posts; but unlike Twitter, it's easy to keep track of what's going where. And on top of that, things tend to spread further.

Basically, if you go to the page for a particular post, under 'notes' is a list of every like and reblog that post gets. So all you have to do is copy/paste all that into a text file, and load it into Google Refine (or spreadsheet, if you're so inclined); parse, rearrange, tidy, so you have two columns - reblogger, reblogged - load it into ManyEyes and you can make a network graph for who passed the picture on from whom.

Looking at the graph, you can then divide a post in to one of two groups:

1) Self-Centred

The example for this is a photoshop I did putting varies memes (that were big at the time) in to one "Ministry of Silly Walks" picture.
And the graph looks like this, with me at the centre

2) Fan-Centred

For this, the example is this Doctor Who pic - my most reblogged picture - which I actually stole from else where on the web (which is quite common for Tumblr)
And the graph in this case looks like this, with a fan page (note the name) being at the centre of most reblogs and me (red circle) pushed to one side.


None of this is actually important. Vaguely interesting maybe. It's basically what I'd've done a while back with retweets on Twitter, if Twitter would facilitate it. Why do things spread further on Tumblr? Damned if I know. The average retweet apparently only goes about two jumps from the originator.

But again, this is another good example of connectors and all that - how passing something through the right person/people can make it explode in popularity and spread massively.

In the Doctor Who one, "timelordian" only passes it on to one person from me. But if they weren't there, it might not have reached "thetardis", in which case, the bottom half of the graph would disappear. So again, you don't have to pass something on to a lot of people to have a massive effect. You just have to pass it on to the right person.


No comments: