Could one ever get tired of those 140 characters of freedom? With the ability of opening a Twitter account for free and then sharing thoughts, pictures, videos and links with the rest of the world (except for some countries), will the number of users continue to grow until everybody has an account? Recent data shows that perhaps the world is actually getting tired of Twitter: the number of monthly active users of the network, at least in the US, has practically remained constant for the last year (one could even say that it decreased slightly, taking into account the 0.7% population growth of that country). This is the end of Twitter’s golden era, in which they managed to double the amount of users year after year.
Trying to predict the outcome of today’s UK election? Spent a last frantic few moments comparing the proposals from the various candidates or parties? Interested in understanding the demographics of the voters? Wondering whether there’s a correlation between a constituency’s average income and number of Tory votes, or its diversity and UKIP support? Certainly maths is everywhere and we could spend hours and hours analysing, modelling and predicting – as the newspapers and numerous other blogs have been doing for the past months.
Here at chalkdust, however, our curiosity was piqued by something (only slightly!) less controversial and certainly a lot more fun: determining the similarity between the Twitter accounts of two of the main protagonists of the 2015 election, Ed Miliband and Nigel Farage, who live on opposite ends of the political spectrum.
Have you ever browsed one of your friend’s playlists and discovered that you both share almost the same music? Maybe you have some additional songs and perhaps he has a band that you have never heard of before, but basically you have the same music. Is there a way to get a proper measure of how similar your music is? If you could compare your music with every person you know, is there a way of ranking playlists according to which is most similar to yours? It is possible that the playlist that is closest to yours contains songs that you have never heard before but that you will really enjoy.