Kings Of The Twittersphere

By Chris Good

Political types like to tweet. Just as for everyone else, it borders somewhere between fun, addiction, and self-promotion, and we know that it routinely leads to news--from Newt Gingrich tweeting that Sonia Sotomayor is a racist to Republicans tweeting from the House floor during the energy debate last year.

But how do all these political personalities interact? Do they tweet only to make news, or do they actually follow each other? Who's the most popular?

Earlier this week, the social-media analyzers at Sysomos broke down the top 168 political Twitterers, and who among them follow/are followed the most.

The list includes politicians, strategists, media figures, bloggers, and news organizations that cover politics.

The winner: Arnold Schwarzenegger. He's got the most followers (68) among the 168-member-strong elite political community. But the runner-up may surprise you: Nansen Malin, a blogger who sits on the Washington State GOP Executive Board, comes in a close second with 67 followers among the political Twitter elite.

(In terms of overall followers, CNN Breaking News and President Obama are tops, with 2,759,654 and 2,240,540 followers, respectively.)

Other notables among politicians are Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Jim DeMint (R-SC); among the strategists/media figures/bloggers category, behind Malin are George Stephanopoulos and Patrick Ruffini; among news organizations, LA Times' Top of the Ticket blog wins the political-Twittersphere popularity contest, with Right Wing News and NPR Politics coming in second and third.

Here are some of Sysomos' charts (note: "friends" refers to how many people an individual follows):

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This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2009/10/kings-of-the-twittersphere/28061/