[UPDATE December 17, 2013] Below is the final A.T. Rank chart for this season of The Voice (Season 5). We predict that Tessanne Chin from Team Adam will be the winner, Jacquie Lee — the runner-up, and Will Champlin finishes third.
[UPDATE December 10, 2013] Having further tweaked the prediction algorithm, this is what things look like as of noon today. Cole Vosbury, Will Champlin and James Wolpert in the bottom three, smooth sailing for Tessanne Chin and Jacquie Lee. Cole Vosbury saved by Twitter vote, makes it to the finals.
[UPDATE December 04, 2013] The morning after: Recap.
Mixed bag last night. My algorithm correctly predicted that James Wolpert would be saved by the viewers, but totally missed the Cole Vosbury call (for the second time, I must add). For next week I have recruited a “human sensor”, whose input will factor in in the updated algorithm. Stay tuned.
[UPDATE December 03, 2013] Updated the predictive algorithm.
Introducing The A.T. Rank for The Voice
My original hypothesis that Twitter following alone can predict winners and losers on was proven wrong last week. So I set out to devise a more comprehensive, more sophisticated (and, hopefully, more accurate) predictive algorithm. The new algorithm combines the number of artists’ Twitter followers with other variables, and returns an “A.T. Rank” for each artist. Below is the A.T. Rank chart for today, December 03, 2013. According to the algorithm, Cole Vosbury will be eliminated tonight. James Wolpert will get to sing another week thanks to the Twitter “instant save”.
[UPDATE November 27, 2013] Yesterday’s eliminations showed without a doubt that Twitter following ALONE can’t be used as a predictor of success or elimination on The Voice. Not surprising. But I am not giving up on this prediction game.
Last week I felt in my gut that Ray and Caroline didn’t have “it”, whatever that means. Of course, this is easy to say now. But I will say that I ignored my “gut” and trusted “the numbers”, and this was a mistake.
If anything, yesterday’s results encouraged me to trust my gut more. So I cooked up a secret formula involving Twitter numbers and several “gut” ingredients, and tweaked it until it roughly produced yesterday’s output. According to the new algorithm, today’s A.T. Rank of The Voice artists is as follows:
Come back for an update next Tuesday, December 3, 2013.
[UPDATE November 26, 2013] Jersey girl Caroline Pennell surges in the Twitter followers popularity race. She is many kilotweets behind leader Tessanne Chin, but we know how well being on top of the leader board worked for Angie Miller on American Idol.
Below is a snapshot of the number of Twitter followers for the top eight artists, taken around 2:30 p.m. EST today. We see that while Jacquie Lee has a minuscule advantage in total numbers, Caroline has the momentum, having increased her total number of followers by over 50% since last week.
I predict that Cole Vosbury will be eliminated tonight. Then it’s a toss-up between James Wolpert and Ray Boudreaux for the second elimination.
I was wrong. Many (conspiracy and other) theories exist about what happened and why it happened. I may revisit these theories again in a few weeks. For now I’ll just chalk up my erroneous American Idol prediction to my sample size of one TV show being too small to draw a meaningful conclusion about Twitter/TV popularity correlation.
So now I set out to conduct a similar analysis for NBC’s The Voice and its remaining ten contestants. Tonight’s show will announce the elimination of two contestants. According to this Twitter followers chart (below) Austin Jenckes, Cole Vosbury, and Kat Robichaud will be in the bottom three. Kat Robichaud will be saved by Twitter vote. Austin and Cole will go home.
This is the annual update of the authoritative A.T. Rank of Social Media Networks. A notable change from last year’s list is the addition of Instagram, which three months ago and instantly fell in love with.
A.T. ACCT STATUS
WHAT’S GOING ON
Retains last year’s top spot. Still the most valuable network, by far.
Camera phone photographer’s playground.
Surfaces great content from other networks.
Love it or hate it, but don’t ignore it. This is where everybody hangs out.
Recruiter’s heaven, good for business intelligence and little else. Endorse me for “bikes”.
The fastest growing referral network.
Nerds and squares.
The faded dame of social media.
Acquired by Yahoo! — almost certainly the kiss of death.
Where indie bands’ dreams go to die.
The open-source Facebook. There ain’t nobody home.
The latest venture of Flickr founder Caterina Fake. Pin notes on a map. Formerly Pinwheel. Nicely done but deserted.
I give you two ways to respond to graffiti, both found on the twitters. You can either hire someone to remove the graffiti (left), or you can ironically embrace them and ironically turn them into an ironical piece of art. Ironically, of course. Or maybe sarcastically (right).
Here is a full transcript of the bathroom graffiti label:
Lincoln, NE. 1996
I Lack Creativity, 2011
sharpie on drywall: 35 x 48 cm
In an attempt to abandon aesthetics, I Lack Creativity by Anonymous showcases an antiquated hieroglyph that has remained unchanged since the late 70s. Here, Anon makes a fascinating plea to retard human evolution and remind us what it may have been like to use a public restroom in 1983.
Today Yandex Browser justified my trust. After clicking on a Twitter link from a very reputable source, Yandex Browser navigated to The Atlantic, then instantly threw a malware warning (screenshot below). I have seen similar warnings from Google Chrome.
Full text of warning:
may harm your computer
A webpage on www.theatlantic.com is attempting to download information from cdn.komoona.com, which contains malware. The owner of the site may be completely unaware of any malware installed on the site by hackers.
You can see more detailed information about the threat or a cached version of the site on the threat information page.
So here is a chart of the contestants’ Twitter followers as of this morning, Thursday, May 16, 2013. The day of the grand finale. Who will be the winner?
According to this chart Candice has a slight edge over Kree, but does that mean much? Because look at Angie Miller, the contestant who was eliminated last week. She has double the followers of Candice or Kree. And she keeps adding followers, despite not being on the show any more. In the week since she was eliminated, Angie has added 26,134 Twitter followers, more than twice the number for finalist Kree (12,662)!
That Angie Miller has star power is indisputable. The question is how to reconcile the discrepancy between her huge Twitter and Instagram following and her elimination from the show. Could it be that Twitter users don’t vote? Or that rednecks don’t tweet? Or is the show rigged?
Either way Angie has already won. Her unfair elimination and the resulting controversy have amplified the buzz around her name. And she got a recording contract already, before the American Idol “winner” is even announced. Isn’t that winning?
Angie Miller’s original song “You Set Me Free” is today.
Or why American Idol is NOT rigged for Angie Miller
[UPDATE May 10, 2013] This is the final update to this article. See my latest post “American Idol: What went wrong?”. Alternately, scroll down to review a weekly log of the contestants’ Twitter following, dating back to March 22, 2013.
This article is being updated continuously, with recent updates showing on top. Scroll down for earlier entries and charts from previous weeks. New chart every Thursday morning.
Let the record show that back on March 22 (scroll all the way to the bottom), when there were still nine contestants left on the show, I predicted two things:
Angie Miller is the viewers’ favorite, and will likely be the American Idol 2013 (Season 12) winner
This clear indication of who the winner will be would take the suspense out of the show, resulting in decreased viewership (confirmed by the show’s )
[UPDATE May 9, 2013] Below is a chart of the contestants’ Twitter followers as of this morning, Thursday, May 9, 2013.
[UPDATE May 2, 2013] Below is a chart of the contestants’ Twitter followers as of this morning, Thursday, May 2, 2013. Need I say anything? I do, actually. Possibly seeking to even the score somewhat, last night the judges came down on Angie, hard. As a result, Angie added the most Twitter followers ever, both as an absolute number, and as a percentage of total. Talk about unintended consequences.
[UPDATE April 25, 2013] Below is a chart of the contestants’ Twitter followers as of this morning, Thursday, April 25, 2013. The chart leaves little doubt that Angie Miller will be the 2013 (Season 12) American Idol winner, as I predicted back in March. Scroll down for earlier posts and charts.
[UPDATE April 24, 2013] . So much so, that the producers are reportedly mid-season to bring back Jennifer Lopez. While many factors are likely contributing to this state of affairs, I submit to you that the phenomenon described in this blog post surely has hurt the show. Having gone out of their way to publicize the contestants’ large Twitter following, the producers unwittingly eliminated the element of suspense.
[UPDATE April 18, 2013] Below is a chart of the contestants’ Twitter followers as of this morning, Thursday, April 18, 2013. As Hercule Poirot would say: “The prediction it is obvious, mon ami.”
[UPDATE April 12, 2013] Last night’s results showed that the answer is “no”. Twitter following can’t predict American Idol contestants’ fate on the show. It could be that my model is wrong. Or just that my assumptions are wrong. Maybe I’ll try to find an explanation, but I’ll probably put the whole thing to rest. This is just a TV show, after all, and the producers can do whatever they want. I am sure they will do whatever they think is best for the show, “viewer voting” being part of the overall script.
[UPDATE April 11, 2013] As an American Idol fan I want Lazaro Arbos to go home tonight. As a data analyst and modeler I predict that he will hang around for a few more weeks, and Janelle Arthur will be voted off the show.
Candice and Amber are on fire. Angie is so far ahead, she is untouchable. But what about Lazaro?
According to my prediction model Lazaro has the numbers to make it to the finale. He also sucks. It will be interesting to see whether the producers will intervene and eliminate Lazaro earlier despite the viewer support he apparently enjoys.
Let me again state clearly that my prediction model is based on two important assumptions: 1) There is strong correlation between American Idol contestants’ Twitter following and their TV popularity. 2) The show is not rigged — i.e., the show’s outcome is indeed determined by viewers’ vote alone.
Below is a chart of the contestants’ Twitter followers as of this morning, Thursday, April 11, 2013.
[UPDATE April 10, 2013] No change since yesterday. Angie and Lazaro are in a category of their own, having surely solidified their place in the finale. Of the remaining four contestants Amber has the fewest followers, but the strongest momentum. I stand by my earlier prediction that Janelle will go home this week.
[UPDATE April 9, 2013] No change in pattern since yesterday. Amber continues to add Twitter followers at double the rate of everyone else. Janelle will go home this week.
There is little doubt as to how this show will unfold: Angie Miller is the runaway winner, Lazaro Arbos is the runner-up. Third is Kree Harrison, fourth — Candice Glover, fifth — Amber Holcomb, sixth — Janelle Arthur.
Keith Urban, no doubt following producers’ instructions, tries to maintain the suspense by only predicting that ““ But he knows as well as we do who that girl is going to be.
A YouTube comment from user explains why Lazaro will continue to do well:
GODDAMNIT AMERICA!!! You fucking vote for Lazaro??? REALLY?!? THAT’S FUCKING BULLSHIT!!!! Lazaro SUCKS!!!!! Lazaro took Devins spot. Now he takes Burnells spot. ITS FUCKING BULLSHIT!! HE SUCKS!!! THIS IS A SINGING COMPETITION!!!! The only reason he’s in the top 3 is because of his stutter, and his life story how he had no friends growing up, and every gay man and straight woman thinks hes hot.
[UPDATE April 8, 2013] Little change since yesterday. Amber has the momentum, followed by Candice and Lazaro. Janelle is a goner.
[UPDATE April 7, 2013] Amber‘s momentum continues, which will likely keep her safe for another week.
[UPDATE April 6, 2013] Amber, while still at the bottom, has picked up momentum, adding Twitter followers at more than twice the rate of Janelle. If Amber’s momentum continues, Janelle will likely go home next week.
Bookmark this page and come back for daily updates.
[UPDATE April 5, 2013] Predictions recap: Minor upset, major win. The upset: I predicted that Burnell would go home next week; he was voted off this week. Barely significant, and paling in comparison to my major score, the Lazaro call. While everyone — including uber producer Jimmy Iovine — thought Lazaro ought to go home this week, I predicted that he would face Angie in the finale. Lazaro was in the top three last night, solidifying my confidence in my model. Come back next week for more American Idol predictions.
[UPDATE April 4, 2013] Prediction: Amber, facing elimination, will get saved by the judges tonight.
I know, this doesn’t make sense. Amber had a great performance last night, and she shouldn’t be facing elimination. Lazaro — who had an abysmal performance last night — should go home. But Lazaro continues to rank high in my model, and the model has been accurate so far, so I’ll stick with it.
It is important to know that my prediction model is based on two important and (hopefully) safe assumptions: 1) There is strong correlation between American Idol contestants’ Twitter popularity and their TV popularity. 2) The show is not rigged — i.e., the show’s outcome is indeed determined by viewers’ vote alone.
If either of the above assumptions is false, my predictions would be baseless. On the other hand, if both 1 and 2 above hold true, then the chart below paints a clear and self-explanatory picture of what to expect.
[UPDATE April 2, 2013] This is getting so easy to predict, it’s not even a challenge any more. It looks like Amber has thrown in the towel already. It is a near certainty that she will go home on Thursday. It is also a near certainty that Angie will win the whole thing, in a face-off finale with Lazaro. So let’s raise the challenge and try to predict who will go home NEXT week. Janelle is a strong candidate, being second from the bottom. However, she keeps adding Twitter followers at the highest rate of all contestants. She seems to have kicked her campaign in high gear. So my prediction is that Burnell will go home on April 11.
Next chart on Thursday morning — April 4, 2013.
[UPDATE March 28, 2013] Who will go home tonight? Based on Twitter following alone, it has to be Devin Velez. He added the fewest followers since last week (2,231), which does not bode well for his current position near the bottom. Angie Miller is still the runaway favorite, although her rate of adding new followers (8.74%) is the lowest.
This year (AI Season 12), the TV show contestants have serious social media presence. Each of the top ten contestants have dedicated (and verified) and . Which begs the question: If the American Idol winner is indeed determined by viewers’ votes alone, can the contestants’ social media following be an indicator of how the competition will unfold and whom the voters will favor to be the winner?
Below is a chart of the top nine contestants’ Twitter followers as of today, March 22, 2013. If this chart is any indicator, there is little doubt that Angie Miller is the viewers’ favorite. I’ll keep weekly tabs on the numbers, and will post my findings here. I also wonder whether social media will take the suspense (and surprise) out of the show.
There is strong indication that it may. For example, Paul Jolley, Devin Velez, and Amber Holcomb were in the bottom three as per the “nation-wide vote” announced during the March 21 show. This corresponds perfectly with the Twitter chart below.
A prompted me to republish this old blog post of mine.
Today someone asked for my fax number. First I thought they were joking. Then I realized they were serious.
There is a significant divide in the ways people communicate nowadays. I unplugged the office fax machine three years ago. At about the same time I canceled the home landline. I canceled the office landline last year. I get my email on my cell phone, which I rarely use to make or receive calls. Yet I realize that in many people’s minds the telephone is still the fastest way to reach someone, whereas email is something you check on the weekend, time permitting.
For me written (text) communication is much more efficient than spoken communication. For that reason I prefer email over telephone, I don’t listen to podcasts but read their transcripts, and I need a reminder to check my voicemail periodically (don’t ask how often).
Listed below are the best ways to get in touch with me these days:
Call my cell
That’s the order. I will get to your email before I get to your voice mail.
NOTE: This is an edited version of , which was first published in April 2012.
Made wise by necessity, I resorted to emailing my contacts instead of tweeting or DMing. And guess what? It worked.
Why does email work when Google Talk and Twitter fail? Email is resilient because it is distributed. If you are an Internet user, you should have your own domain, and maintain an email account on your domain. Then use it. Yes, I mean pay for email. It doesn’t cost much, and it has multiple advantages over the mass-adopted free email services such as Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, and AOL. Your own email on your own domain is much more reliable, you see no ads, and you have fewer reasons for privacy concerns. It also works wonders for your digital persona’s image.
Disclosure: , owned by me. You get free domain email with domain purchase.