The Mystery of Kevin Rudd’s/Kyle & Jackie O’s new Twitter followers. Solved

We were wondering how Kevin Rudd had managed to gather over 100,000 new Twitter followers in under 10 days. It was a bit of a mystery because as you can see, on the 6th of July something strange happened following a very consistent pattern of Twitter growth for a user. In fact the pattern below is something normally associated with people who are manipulating their follower count (see this article).

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Where did they all come from?
So what happened? The answer is actually quite simple. Twitter just added the @kevinRuddpm and @kyleandjackieo accounts to be amongst the exclusive 241 twitter accounts in the world that are “recommended”. See this article on “Who Twitter Loves the Most”. Anyone new to Twitter will potentially be given Rudders account as a suggested account. It’s free and very valuable promotion for him.

Here’s an article on what getting on this list means (here) – and it is controversial, many have remarked that the spots are unfair. Jason Calicanis offered to pay $250,000 (here) to be on the list citing the spot as the next “superbowl ad”.

One might argue Twitter has provided Rudders an unfair advantage for any future elections, but hey… that’s a story for someone else to take up!

Update: Julian Cole pointed out to me via Twitter that this may also seems explain why http://twitter.com/kyleandjackieo had a massive leap during the same period. This would debunk the SMH article claiming Kyle and Jackie O have been buying followers: http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/kyle-and-jackie-o-accused-of-faking-followers-on-twitter-20090707-dbie.html

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Posted by @eunmac

3 Responses to The Mystery of Kevin Rudd’s/Kyle & Jackie O’s new Twitter followers. Solved

  1. what_tha says:

    scandallous… but fair enough… I mean, he does tweet the important topics “what movie should we watch tonight”… he’s better than Obama, and I love the way he takes the piss too = D

  2. I’ve lived in 11 major countries and I am passionate about radio. This is the worst radio station, I must admit in the whole wide world I’ve ever come across.
    The lady host admits having sex at the age of thirteen on air. Nice example being set for our young kids and coming generations.
    The male host has no control over his mouth, and usually shit comes out when he speaks.
    Shame on The Australian Media & Broadcasting Authority to still let this be on air. UNBELIVEABLE.
    Grahim Gilbert – NSW

  3. rvtwt says:

    It looks to me like youve just got a CSS problem, not a javascript problem. Adding:.textwidget{background: #FFFFFF;}to your stylesheet should give you the white background, but if you want it to look exactly like the other widgets, (with rouned corners and same fonts) youll need to make sure the textwidget class has the same css as sidebar ul.If you need a better explanation or just want me to fix it for you fill free to email me.

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