December 28th, 2017


My year on social media: Facebook

Working out which are your top Facebook posts is pretty tricky - required massive cutting and pasting, and then some number crunching, and even then I’m not sure of the results. However there is no doubt which of my 2017 Facebook posts got the most likes and the most comments, posted just after I got into work on April 26:

The second most liked post was a video from about a month later (video below, post is here):

I'm trying to get Facebook to reveal how many comments each post gets, but it seems to get shy after a certain number higher than 44. This post got 44 comments, which is the most my system can count to (though both of those mentioned above got more):

My most shared post - in that as far as I can tell, I was the first to post this news story in this form, and Facebook tells me it was shared 107 times, none of which seem to pre-date my post - was this one from earlier in the year:

Subject to the same caveats, I seem to have got 97 shares from posting this news article on one of the year's most memorable viral videos:

Not quite as successful as last year, when a picture that I posted of a young Bill and Hillary Clinton was shared five thousand times and my post on Brexit was shared five hundred times. But I think we could do without another year in politics like last year.

My year on social media: Twitter

I used to be able to get statistics for my most successful Tweets from Crowdbooster, but unfortunately it closed down this year.

However, Twitter’s own metrics are pretty fascinating, giving you a dozen different ways of measuring impact. So here, in chronological order, are my most successful tweets by different measures this year.

Back in January, an election was unexpectedly called for the Northern Ireland Assembly, and I started preparing. This tweet got the most URL clicks of the year (872), and also earned me the most new followers (4):

Later in January I spent an evening at the European parliament watching the Catalan leadership explaining their policy and plans. This tweet was picked up by their supporters and got the most retweets of the year (129):

As the Assembly election votes were counted, I risked predicting the final tally with this tweet, which got the most hashtag clicks of the year (57):

In the immediate aftermath of the vote, this tweet got the most replies of the year (13):

This tweet linking Eurovision with the Whoniverse got the most media views (651), which I guess means those who clicked on the photograph to enlarge it:

Another election came unexpectedly in June, and this tweet predicting the final result got the most impressions by far of any tweet this year, (86371), and also the most clicks on my user profile (660):

This got the most clicks on an embedded permalink (a not very impressive 6):

And finally in December, this tweet got both the most engagements (2426) and the most detail expands (971):

This reflects the fact that the first half of the year was more exciting than the second!

My year on social media: Instagram

I love Instagram - it’s the only network I’m on where the default behaviour is to be kind. Add me - I’m @nwbrux there as I am on Twitter - and I’ll probably add you, if I haven’t already.

This was my most liked picture of the year, taken by Jo Honigmann in 1993, posted by me 24 years later to the day, with 114 likes.

This was the most liked photograph actually taken by me this year, on a visit to Strasbourg in May - one of those moments when you just come around the corner and a lovely image reveals itself to you; it got 69 likes:

And this was my most liked sequence, from the FACTS comic con in Ghent in October; it got 57 likes (link doesn't seem to work, try here):


My year on social media: LinkedIn

I like many things about LinkedIn, but I do not like its content feed. The content is generally great - for professional reading, it's the best source for me - but organising it as you want, let alone tracking your own impact, is fiendishly difficult. This consequently deters me from posting on LinkedIn as much as I otherwise might; I don't have useful metrics for how effective I am being, let alone how I might be more so.

The only consistent measures are likes and comments, and this video on the triggering of Article 50 filmed at work got 40 likes; nothing else I posted got more than 10.

This post, also work-related, celebrating us getting an award for our campaign to fund the eradication of polio, got 7 comments (all "congratulations"). I am also told that this got "8,471 views in the feed". I don't know what that means, and only posts from the last few weeks seem to have that metric displayed.

I wrote one new article for LinkedIn this year (as opposed to "posts" - a distinction whose difference is not clear), about the then imminent Northern Ireland Assembly election, and it got 111 "clicks"; also 11 likes and 3 comments. I have no other information on "clicks" so I can't judge how successful it was. 3 comments may not seem like much, but it's almost a tsunami by LinkedIn standards, and also one of them was from a former Taoiseach.

As I say, I like LinkedIn for may purposes, but it has some way to go to become an effective information sharing platform.

Everfair, by Nisi Shawl

Second paragraph of third chapter:
It wasn’t the buildings’ fault. The narrowness of the ways between them, mere corridors, was what annoyed. So obviously outmoded. No room for machinery of any sort. Here was Victoria Street, a modern thoroughfare at last. Four lanes for carriages, business facades well set back but of more or less uniform height, meaning electric tramlines could easily be strung overhead between them. Striding rapidly along, an unconscious smile of contentment lurking behind his beard, Jackie saw only enough of his surroundings to avoid crashing into obstacles. He was lost, though continuing automatically on his course to St. George’s Hall. Lost in time, rapt in visions of things to come.
This was a Nebula finalist this year and came 8th in Hugo nominations, and has been getting a lot of buzz. It's an alternate history where Fabian socialists team up with local leaders to build a steampunk-based society in what in our timeline became the Belgian Congo. I'm afraid I started grumpy because I found the map confusing, and I then had difficulty keeping the characters and places straight in my mind; I did like the technology and the concept of political liberation, but I would have liked more local colour to make me feel that the places were real. I'll still look out for her other work, but this didn't sell me.

This was my top unread book by a non-white writer. Next on that pile is Tangle Of Fates, by Leslie Ann Moore.