Canada’s Stephen Harper does remarkably well in a list titled “The Most Popular World Leaders on Twitter” published in the current edition of the Washington-based magazine The New Republic. Harper is ranked 6th on this list of the “10 Most Popular World Leaders on Twitter.” (Excerpt at right)
I’m a little sceptical, though, about The New Republic‘s methodology. It is not clearly explained and, on its face, makes no sense.
To begin with: a list of “most popular” on Twitter inevitably means “number of followers”.
But get this: While no one would argue with Barack Obama’s top ranking on The New Republic‘s list — he has more than 40 million followers — what the heck is Herman Van Rompuy doing in the number 2 slot on this list? Quick, tell me: Who is Van Rompuy? Ok, so you fancy yourself a smarty pants and know that he’s a European politician. So here’s a tough one: Is he the president of the European Commission or the European Council? To be honest, I’m sure I’d get that last question wrong at least half the time and I don’t know how many international summits I’ve been to where I’ve watched Van Rompuy in action and actually asked him questions! Now, Van Rompuy is always hanging around with Jose Manuel Barroso who is whatever Van Rompuy isn’t, namely the president of the European Commission or the European Council. They go everywhere together, these two EC presidents. Barroso, a Portuguese politican, is way more fun to put questions to at international press conferences. The New Republic says Barroso is the third most popular world leader on Twitter.
So, Read more…