I thought this might be a fun question to look at, and thanks to Facebook’s Graph Search, I have at least an approximate way to answer it. Graph Search will let you look for people who “like” different combinations of pages. (For the remainder of this post, I’m going to drop the quotation marks on “like” when describing Facebook likes, because they just get tiring to look at, and I figure you know what I’m talking about.) Most blogs that I wanted to look at have a Facebook page that readers can like, so I just looked up people who liked the Facebook page for each blog, and then looked at how many of each of these people liked each member of the Quorum of 15. One small difficulty I encountered is that Graph Search is more interested in showing me individual people than in giving me an exact count (which makes sense given what Facebook is for). It estimates the number of people who like a blog page and a GA page as more than 10, or fewer than 1000, or whatever, but I couldn’t get an exact count without repeatedly scrolling to the bottom of the results so that it would pull up even more results until it could find no more.
One thing I wanted to adjust for is that the general membership of the Church likes different Q15 members more or less often on Facebook (as I’ve blogged about before and plan to again). So I thought it would be most interesting to see which Q15 members are most liked by readers of different blogs, compared to how often the GAs are liked overall. For example, President Monson alone accounts for nearly 20% of all likes of Q15 members. If he gets only 15% of likes given to Q15 members by readers of a particular blog, this indicates he’s less popular among readers of the blog than among members in general (even if he still gets more likes than any other Q15 member from readers of the blog).
Here are results for ZD. The differences are in percentage points (the percentage of all likes of Q15 members going to this member among likers of the blog minus the same calculation for all Facebook users). I put the First Presidency at the left because a lot of the action is there, and then put the Q12 in order of seniority. Note that I’ve added the colors just to make it easier to see who is who at a glance. A lot of these graphs look similar, so I think it can be helpful to have the colors so you can easily look for the same person as you look across graphs.
Below are results for several other Bloggernacle blogs (and a couple of other organizations that I thought might make for interesting comparison). Sorry I didn’t include more: some of the ones I looked for I couldn’t find on Facebook.
Across all the blogs (and Meridian and OW), there are a few common patterns I see. One is that President Monson scores low, which I think is just showing that readers of these blogs are more likely to spread their likes across multiple members of the Q15 rather than to like President Monson alone. I think the frequent cluster of up bars for the last three Q15 members is probably evidence of the same pattern. Overall, these men get comparatively few likes, so if readers of these blogs are more likely to spread their likes around, then they’ll like these men more often than the overall rate they’re liked at.
Another pattern is a big bump for President Uchtdorf. This is probably not surprising given that most of the blogs I have graphs for are unorthodox to one degree or another, and I think President Uchtdorf is commonly seen as the champion of the unorthodox. Not surprisingly, for Millennial Star and Meridian, his score is very near the overall average.
Finally, for some blogs, Elder Holland scores noticeably above his overall rate of likes. This is particularly visible for W&T, D&S, and Rational Faiths.
One last question I can look at with these data is how many total Q15 likes readers of each blog give. For example, ZD has 146 likes, and there are a total of 74 likes of Q15 members by these 146 likers of ZD, making for 74/146 = 0.51 Q15 likes per ZD reader. Here’s a complete graph, with the blogs ordered by Q15 likes per blog liker.
It’s not surprising that Millennial Star and Meridian, the most orthodox blogs in the sample, score highest here. But I’m a little surprised that even they are nowhere near the maximum possible value of 15 (if every liker of the blog liked all 15 Q15 members).
You can probably see the weaknesses of this little analysis just as well as I can, but let me point out a couple that I see just to be clear. Of course not all readers of a blog will go to the trouble of liking it on Facebook. The same goes for GAs: Elder Christofferson might be someone’s favorite GA ever, but it still might not occur to them that they can go on Facebook and find a page dedicated to him where they can share their liking of him with all their friends. And even more fundamentally, not all Church members use Facebook or even use the internet, so the overall rates I have are surely biased. I also didn’t check how much the people who liked one blog overlapped with people who liked another. So, for example, if fans of fMh and the Exponent are largely the same people, then it would be unsurprising that the graphs for these blogs looked similar.
Lastly, here’s the raw data in case anyone’s interested in looking at it or using it. Please note that it’s been a couple of weeks since I gathered these data, so they’re very likely already at least a little out of date.
|Blog||Total Likes||Likes of Q15 Members by Likers of Blog|
|Blog||Likes of Q15 Members by Likers of Blog|