Kenny Jacoby October 5, 2017

ONA speakers have a combined audience of nearly 4 million unique Twitter followers.

That’s according to my analysis of the Twitter accounts of each one of the 199 ONA speakers who are on Twitter. Other findings:

Twitter Followers of ONA SpeakersONA speakers have a combined reach of nearly 4 million unique followers on Twitter. Here's how their audience sizes stack up.

To figure all this out, I wrote a Python program to first scrape each speaker’s Twitter handle off the ONA website. Then I used the Python library Tweepy to access the Twitter API and download the user IDs of each speaker’s Twitter followers and each account the speaker is following.

This took longer than you might think. Writing the program took only an hour or two, but running it took days. That’s because Tweepy has a rate limit of 5,000 followers per request while fetching the IDs of a user’s followers, meaning my program had to wait a minute between each request. ONA speakers this year have nearly 5 million combined followers, including duplicates, so my program sat idle for a total of 1,000 minutes, or close to 17 hours. Ev Williams’ followers took seven hours alone to scrape. This does not include all the time lost when my Wi-Fi crashed.

Once I scraped all the data into a text file — 52 MB of mostly seven- to-nine-digit, pipe-delimited integers — I was able to quickly write Python functions to analyze the results. Here’s the full code. Play around on the interactive graph below to find the 200 most-followed Twitters accounts by ONA speakers, plus which speakers follow them. For ONA speakers, scroll to the bottom graph to find out which fellow speakers follow you on Twitter.

Who Do ONA Speakers Follow on Twitter?Click an account in the bar graph on the left to see who follows it on the right.


ONA Speakers: Which ONA Speakers Follow You on Twitter?Click a name in the bar graph on the left to see who follows you on the right.