The joy of stats

Occasionally, I get abuse from friends because of my passion for social media. More fool them – this passion’s currently making a group presentation for Vicar School an awful lot less painful than it might have been. In fact, Monday morning saw me finally succumb to Google+. Yes, I realise that it is one of the more pointless of the social networks, but I am very firmly entrenched in the Google world and it was going to be key to an experiment we’re planning as part of the aforementioned presentation. [In a nutshell: next Monday morning will see a 4 person Google+ liturgical hangout for morning prayer…]

In addition to occasional abuse, I also get the odd gem of a link that makes my nerdy heart very, very happy. On Sunday, one such beauty turned up via Twitter – initially I was sceptical, thinking it to be a dig at my geekiness (the tweeter concerned has quite a reputation for such behaviour) – but on further inspection it was revealed to be really quite genius.

It seems that one can use the mathematical search engine Wolfram Alpha to generate a statistical report on your Facebook usage. Social media combined with stats?? Be still my beating heart…

All I had to do was sign-up to Wolfram Alpha, input my Facebook details and within minutes I had a stack of pretty graphs and fascinating facts about my Facebook history. [Oh, and for doubters out there, fear not – this is completely kosher.]

So what have I learned?

For starters, some basic facts about myself – that on Sunday I was 31.09 years old and 10 months, 28 days away from my next birthday.

The programme said it had reviewed 433 posts and I know for a fact that my (nearly) 6 year sojourn in Facebook world has generated many more posts than that. For starters, for a good long while I was a minimum of a status-a-day kind of person, so that’s 365 to begin with. Anyway, it’s still interesting to deduce information from that evaluation, including:

  • My most-used words in statii are: time (26), last 21) and good (20). Interestingly, ‘birthday’ comes in at #8.
  • An average of 3.67 people like my posts and an average of 2.54 comments are received per post.
  • The average length of my posts is 19.09 words and 118 characters. [I’m guessing that stat was significantly higher pre-Twitter.] 
  • 69.2% of my Facebook friends are female. (I knew they’d be in the majority, but I am surprised at how high it is.)
  • 58.1% of them are married. (Interestingly the stat is almost identical when split between genders.)
  • My oldest friend is 48 [actually, that’s the oldest friend who lists their date of birth] and the youngest is 18. 
  • 13 of my friends are called Rachel, 8 have the surname Jones. (8 of the friends, not 8 of the Rachels. Don’t think I know any Rachel Joneses…) 

The report told me a few things I knew already, like the fact that I post way more statuses than I do photos or links and I hardly post any videos. But it did reveal my posting habits in terms of the time of day and the week when I tend to post:

And what was my most liked post? Oh, how I was longing for something witty and erudite that summed up just what kind of a person I am – but no, my most liked status was this one:

You Facebook Timeline haters are fools – do you know how easy Timeline made it for me to find this? Simples. [Oh, and there’s a long back story to the heckling thing…]

My most commented upon post did make me chuckle though and fortunately there’s a previous blogpost that provides the context for it:

Many of the stats only related to the last year or so, but I did discover which my most commented on photo is – disappointingly, it’s a photo of socked feet from 2007 where we had to guess whose foot was whose, but happily a photo of French advent calendar for cats was joint first. Oh, and this was my most liked photo:

Turns out nothing amuses Facebook more than childhood nostalgia and bad poetry…

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