The Twitter tussle within the UK architectural publishing world took a step forward yesterday with the publication of The Architects’ Journal/tCn Twitter 100. This is about two weeks earlier than originally scheduled – presumably so AJ could publish its list ahead of the one being produced by UBM weekly Building Design (and AJ editor Christine Murray almost can’t help gloating: “Our Twitter account, @architectsjrnal, now has three times more followers than our print rivals, and twice as many as the RIBA.”)
Many of the names in the list are familiar, including several friends – Mel Starrs (PI: 63) tops the pile at the moment – but Su Butcher‘s name doesn’t appear in the 100 (with a PI of 67, she would have supplanted Mel as number one), apparently because of her advisory role in helping create the group. I am a little surprised at this.
For a start, PeerIndex has provided a neutral technology platform so that the AJ rankings are determined by the software’s algorithms, not by somebody making decisions about who has more authority than someone else. Editing somebody out surely impairs the completeness and therefore accuracy of the list, doesn’t it?
Also, in my view, Su’s role in helping curate the AJ list in the first place is also a testament to her Twitter influence. It may be old-school journalistic ethics to exclude an editorial participant, but in the brave new media world industry journalists (and their advisors) are influential, and if people are making decisions about who to follow on Twitter, then such list publishers will need to factor this into their decision-making. After all, won’t it help emphasise the value of a journal, if its editors, writers and contributors are widely followed and highly regarded? Or might publications be worried about exposing that they carry less weight on Twitter than many of their readers?
(And sorry Christine, but it’s not about how many followers you have. PeerIndex was established to provide a more scientific approach, stressing quality over quantity. I just checked, @architectsjrnal PeerIndex is a humble 21 – a long way behind @BDonline‘s stellar 57, and the RIBA‘s very respectable 48!)
Finally, the AJ approach wasn’t adopted when fellow Emap title Construction News published its Twitter 100 in April. Myself and tCn founder Ryan Briggs were both involved – like Su with AJ – in helping CN create that PeerIndex group and both of us, plus @tCnTweets, featured in the printed ranking.