Which GAs Do Readers of Different Blogs Like?

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.

zelophehad's daughtersWell, that’s a pretty straightforward pattern. ZD readers like President Uchtdorf. They really, really like him. Most everyone else falls below overall norms to compensate.

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.


fmhThe Exponent:


bccWheat and Tares:

wheat and taresJuvenile Instructor:

juvenile instructorRational Faiths:

rational faithsDoves and Serpents:

doves and serpentsSegullah:


keepapitchininMillennial Star:

millennial starMeridian Magazine:meridianOrdain Women:

ordain womenAcross 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.

GA likes per blog likeIt’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
Monson Eyring Uchtdorf Packer Perry Nelson Oaks
ZD 146 10 5 20 1 2 3 5
fMh 2266 93 40 126 28 26 27 36
Exponent 515 32 23 48 12 14 15 19
BCC 1622 117 105 183 80 86 89 59
W&T 233 10 9 24 3 2 1 8
JI 391 40 25 39 21 23 23 29
RF 503 45 13 47 7 7 9 14
D&S 215 11 8 18 6 5 5 8
Segullah 849 113 50 100 49 57 60 48
Keepa 320 37 23 29 20 18 18 24
M* 145 29 16 23 20 21 22 29
Meridian 8327 1838 922 1194 785 862 924 1220
OW 5090 108 48 154 32 37 35 50
Overall 292,403 69,947 121,585 64,196 84,951 85,712 129,762


Blog Likes of Q15 Members by Likers of Blog
Ballard Scott Hales Holland Bednar Cook Christofferson Andersen
ZD 4 5 2 5 2 5 2 3
fMh 36 35 26 62 41 27 26 21
Exponent 17 21 14 28 20 18 18 15
BCC 110 116 108 79 59 60 87 74
W&T 6 7 5 11 6 3 5 2
JI 30 26 24 25 29 20 24 22
RF 11 15 10 27 12 8 9 6
D&S 6 6 5 12 6 6 6 6
Segullah 58 60 46 51 46 48 51 47
Keepa 24 23 18 26 21 18 18 19
M* 25 24 24 22 19 18 21 21
Meridian 1070 1044 1101 994 925 726 688 787
OW 42 49 34 69 46 34 34 25
Overall 119,668 126,924 101,637 92,878 90,976 57,948 59,822 55,002


  1. I believe you can get actual counts through Facebook’s pay per click service. Just target all people who like both the blog page and a particular GA. You don’t have to run the add, just get the count of potential recipients of the ad and then change the parameters again.

  2. It looks as though if we get to vote for who we want as Prophet, Uchtdorf should be the man for the job.

    A choice I approve.

  3. So interesting! Do more, do more! Mormon Women Stand? the new Chieko Okazaki page? Vivint (the door to door alarm sales company)?

  4. Sorry it’s not clear, Frank. It’s because his percentage for each blog is being compared to his percentage overall.

    If you look at the last row of the raw data, you can get the overall percentages. If you add up the counts in that row, you’ll find that there are 1,553,411 likes of Q15 members in total, of which President Monson gets 292,403 (19%) and President Uchtdorf gets 121,585 (8%). Those are their overall percentages, the values that percentages for each blog are compared to.

    Then for fMh, for example, there are 650 total likes of Q15 members. Of these President Monson gets 93 (14%) and President Uchtdorf gets 126 (19%). These percentages are compared to the overall percentages. For President Monson, 14% – 19% = -5 percentage points. For President Uchtdorf, 19% – 8% = 11 percentage points.

  5. ScottHeff and Liffey Banks, sorry I didn’t include more blogs or groups. Unfortunately, since I was doing this by hand (scrolling through Graph Search results to force the display of all results) I got tired before I got to all the groups I wanted to look at.

    Dave C, thanks for the suggestion. I tried this, but it looks like Facebook won’t let me put two criteria together with AND; it assumes I want them combined using OR. And it also wouldn’t bring up any of the blog pages, perhaps because they’re too small. I could be looking in the wrong place, though. Please let me know if I’m missing something. You can email me at ziff (at) zelophehadsdaughters.com if that’s easier. Thanks!

  6. Ziff,

    I had to take a second glance to figure out why Monson is always less than average. Maybe the different preferences for each blog would come apart more if the baseline average only inlcuded those from people who liked blogs?

  7. Ok, I think I get it. It’s not that Monson is disliked by the blogs, it’s that he’s less liked by the blogs than the general population. Uchtdof is more liked by the blogs than the general population.

    So the closer to zero everyone is, the closer they are to the general population. The greater the variation, the further from the general population are the people who like these blogs.

    So basically it’s proof the bloggernacle diverges from the populace, even on the “conservative” sites.

  8. It would be interesting to see the total deviation from the average population for each blog: That is, which blogs deviate the most from the standard, and whether it’s liking more or less.

    It would also be interesting to measure actual blog references, and see which blogs are the most likely to quote from General Authorities in their writings and comments, and which GAs are quoted the most.

  9. I re-ran the numbers based on how many of the people who like a blog also like various GA’s. I think this gives a slightly different picture.

    How many readers of a blog “like” Pres. Monson:

    ZD 6.8%
    fMh 4.1%
    Exponent 6.2%
    BCC 7.2%
    W&T 4.3%
    JI 10.2%
    RF 8.9%
    D&S 5.1%
    Segullah 13.3%
    Keepa 11.6%
    M* 20.0%
    Meridian 22.1%
    OW 2.1%

    How many readers of a blog “like” Elder Uchtdorf:

    ZD 13.7%
    fMh 5.6%
    Exponent 9.3%
    BCC 11.3%
    W&T 10.3%
    JI 10.0%
    RF 9.3%
    D&S 8.4%
    Segullah 11.8%
    Keepa 9.1%
    M* 15.9%
    Meridian 14.3%
    OW 3.0%

    How many members of the Q15 do the readers of a blog “like”:

    ZD 50.7%
    fMh 28.7%
    Exponent 61.0%
    BCC 87.1%
    W&T 43.8%
    JI 102.3%
    RF 47.7%
    D&S 53.0%
    Segullah 104.1%
    Keepa 105.0%
    M* 230.3%
    Meridian 181.1%
    OW 15.7%

    I find these numbers much more informative . Unsurprisingly, far more of the readers at the conservative blogs like the president of the church. A bit more of a surprise to me, however, is that the more conservative blogs like Elder Uchtdorf the most as well, although the difference is not as great. What really blew me away was how little the readers of the more liberal blogs like any of the Q15. While M* readers like Q15 members 230% as much as their blog, FMH like Q15 memebers only 29% as much and OW is even less at 16%.

  10. Jeff, we might just as well conclude that readers of “conservative” blogs are more self-righteous because they feel the need to publicly proclaim their devotion to GAs than liberals who do their alms in private. The “data” here would let us say practically anything.

  11. Don’t look now, but Jeff G. has once again demonstrated his talent for shoehorning anything at all through a low-pass filter which yields one sole remaining frequency. This lone frequency sounds uncannily like very worn-out drum.

  12. Jeff, if you look back at the post, the very last graph has the same analysis you did, only I expressed the values as ratios rather than as percentages.

    And like Kristine and Orwell, I’m kind of surprised that you’re surprised by this finding, and that you’re so sure it reflects negatively on the readers of the less orthodox blogs.

  13. Ziff, I noticed that after I’d done the numbers.

    I was surprised by how well this data flat he’s the negative stereotypes that are already out there. I know it’s not a smoking gun or anything, but it does seem like an issue worth flagging for further analysis.

    Orwell, while I don’t see the comparison as insulting in the least (Gary’s subtle point was right after all) I don’t think Gary or I would agree with it. Gary is a scripture thumping anti-intellectual while mine is an reasoned argument (I quote few if any scriptures as authoritative trump cards) for scripture thumping anti-intellectualism. The two positions are obviously related but just as obviously different from each other.

  14. The comparison with R. Gary has to do with your one-issue obsession, not any suggestion of equivalence between your pet topic and his.

  15. Ah! Well then I guess it’s not that far off then, for the time being anyways. I’ve only been harping on authority for a year or so. I’ll get bored soon enough and move on to some other approach to anti-intellectualism. No guarantees it won’t be just as annoying though!

  16. This is a cool feature. Can you explain how who get the count on the and function in graph search.

    For Example, when I do “People who like Feminist Mormon Housewives and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”, I only get “More than 100” not an exact number…

  17. There’s probably a more elegant way to do this, Matt, but I just hit over and over and Graph Search loads more results until it tells me it’s at the end of its results. Then I can count them quickly (using Chrome) by searching in the page for the phrase “likes “, where blog is the blog I’m searching for, because Facebook shows each person with that same like first, and Chrome shows how many matches it has found.

  18. Clever. I wonder if I could write some form of script in Python to do that. Your research methodologies always facsinate me.

  19. I thought that was probably the case that someone who knew more could automate the thing. 🙂 And oops–I see that my reference to hitting Page Down over and over was lost in my last comment, probably because I used angle brackets, so it was interpreted as a failed tag.


Comments are closed.