Mapping cooperative / community Twitter accounts

I was interested in looking at how cooperative or community organisations use Twitter. Similar organisations will tend to follow each other on Twitter so it might be possible to generate groups of cooperative accounts that share something in common. This can be useful for helping people discover cooperative organisations, or connect into networks of cooperative organisations that are already there.

I sampled over 200K accounts from Twitter which were clustered around the CooperativesUK twitter account. Here’s a map of the accounts I sampled.

The map shows the Twitter accounts collected into groups which share similar interests. As you can see, many of the groups are associated with a particular local area. Other groups are associated with topics like town planning, farming, sustainability, charities, finance, food, social care, etc.

The grouping is done so that members of each group tend to follow other accounts in the same group. The widths of the arrows and self-loops represent how often accounts from one group follow accounts in the linked group. A second algorithm annotates each group according to which biographical words they use more commonly than the other groups.