¡One of Forbes.com’s Top Online Political Influencers!

I was minding my own business when my reputation manager (aka Mami who monitors the internet searching for axe-wielding interNUTS who seek to do her daughter harm) tipped me off to the Forbes.com article that listed me among the top politics influencers when it comes to the Latino vote!

This is a first because a mainstream media organization recognized the value of my work and Hispanics’ emerging political clout. Also, I am in the company of some heavy hitters, many who are in the mainstream. How was this “list” compiled? This is really cool: by using San Francisco-based internet influence monitoring company Traacker.com‘s methodology which measures reach and resonance.

Of course all of this is possible because of your support–the readers of The Wise Latina Club who have lovingly nurtured–at time challenged me–and spread the word. TWLC is our voice and it’s growth is proof that our perspective matters and is clicking.

One note: this list misidentifies me as being employed by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and not the founder and blogger-in-chief of TWLC. To clarify, the Chamber was a client of mine. Hey, sometimes surprises aren’t perfect. Still, I’ll take it!

This post was first published as “Who Are the Top Online Political Influencers (And Does Clint Eastwood Really Matter?)” on August 31, 2012 in Forbes.com by Giovanni Rodríguez and Toby Chaudhuri.

Who Are the Top Online Political Influencers (And Does Clint Eastwood Really Matter?)

Upon launching a two-month research project, we ask:  did Mr. Eastwood make or break Mr. Romney’s day?

by Giovanni Rodriguez and Toby Chaudhuri

[Note:  Rodriguez and Chaudhuri are co-founders of SocialxDesign, a new strategy consulting firm based in Silicon Valley, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.]

clint_eastwood-TheWiseLatinaClub

Clint Eastwood not quite with a “talk to the hand” or Italian do you capiche? hand gesture. Courtesy: Reuters

We’re rolling into Charlotte this weekend for the DNC, and we’ve got two big questions on our minds: who are nation’s top online political influencers, and did Clint actually spoil Romney’s big moment last night?

Sounds facetious, but we were surprised to learn that Mr. Eastwood’s now infamous “empty chair” video was still trending on Twitter this morning while Mssrs. Romney and Rubio were not. And with so much of the sentiment on Clint trending negative, it’s reasonable to ask about the impact. It just so happens that we were getting ready to launch a projectthis weekend to monitor and track the coverage of online influencers on political issues. As a test run for our research platform – provided by our friends at Traackr, a San Francisco-based influencer monitoring firm – we’ll start with a rather simple query:  the attention that Romney got last night relative to Rubio and Clint, who took the stage earlier that evening.

First, a bit more information about the people we are tracking. We’ve set up individual “monitor lists” of the top influencers in four categories that we expect will matter to voters this election: jobs and the economy, education, healthcare, and immigration reform (a nod to the Hispanic vote which many are thinking could swing the election, though studies show that Hispanic voter priorities are more aligned around the first three categories). While no list-making algorithm is perfect, we like the depth and complexity of Traackr’s metrics. Traackr’s PeopleSearch engine scours the content of the social web in order to identify the most influential people in any topic, niche or conversation. It identifies and ranks influencers based on the size of their audience, their level of engagement, and, most important, their relevance to the topic in question.  For this project, Traackr helped us identify the keywords defining the most important, hot button topics affecting the election and pulled the top influencers within those conversations.  The keywords will adjust over time, and so will the influencers.

Below this blog post, check out Traackr’s August 30 rankings for (a) the top ten general influencers on the US election, (b) the top ten influencers in the four topic areas, and (c) the top 50 influencers on the Hispanics vote (i.e., the 50 top online influentials who regularly post on issues pertaining to the Hispanic vote). Note: we will be rolling out other multicultural lists as we go, and by no means do we expect to get these lists entirely right.  Some choices, in fact will be surprising, and many influentials (on any given day) will be left out.  But the lists will provide an interesting sample of what top influentials – regardless of their own ethnicity — are saying on topics that matter to an increasingly diverse nation. Think of them as an open, influential online focus group on topics that matter to the US electorate. In future lists, we will attempt to go deeper on language, culture, and geography.

So where does this leave Clint? Did the RNC’s “surprise guest” crash the partyand become an unwanted online influencer? Well, although he doesn’t rank on any of our lists, he certainly made himself heard last night in the communities we’re following.  When monitoring how the top fifty general influencers reacted to last night’s speeches, as of 10 AM Pacific this morning Clint had scored 67 hits (tweets, Facebook mentions, blog posts) versus 53 for Rubio. When monitoring the top 50 Hispanic influentials, the numbers were better for Rubio, but not by much (47 for Rubio, 40 for Clint). And Mr. Romney? He did fine, thank you, scoring 348 hits with the general group, and 303 hits in the Hispanic group.

Insight here on the first day of this project?  While Clint may not have exactly made Mr. Romney’s day, the Republican presidential nominee certainly had his moment. But for Mr. Rubio, who directly followed Clint on last night’s lineup, the outcome was not so good.  As the U.S. Senator from Florida took the podium and made way into his speech – which in our opinion was the best in his entire political life – the chattering class was just getting started analyzing, dissecting, and socializing the spectacle that transpired just moments before.

We’ll be back on Monday, with a Labor Day preview of the conversations we expect next week. Another party, for sure, and another party crasher … maybe. We will try our best to be ready. Like comedy, in this election — the most socially-driven in history — timing will be everything.

THE HISPANIC VOTE

(reach + resonance + relevance across chosen keywords, latest scan:  August 30, 2012)

26. Viviana Hurtado, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Busting hump leading up to the election paid off.  Click here to read about being awarded LATISM’s 2012 Best Politics Blogger Award and here to read about being selected Blogs by Latinas’ 2012 Best News Blog.

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