A closer look at the Twitter Top 100: The left wing pundits

This is the second in a series of posts looking at  Bryce Edwards and Geoffrey Miller’s top 100 tweeters to follow this election. There was much discussion afterwards about the make up of the list, and the lack of female or ethnic members on the list. I have been thinking about it a bit as well, and felt that it was worth taking a bit of a deeper look at some of the people on the list. I am going to run this as a series of posts. I plan to look at each of the categories that Bryce and Geoffry used in their column, apart from the ones for MPs. I am excluding MPs because they would be in a list simply for the fact of being MPs. I am also going to take a look at a selection of those mentioned on Stephanie Rodgor’s alternative top 60, plus an addition of my own.


I am going to use Twitonomy stats to look at each person on the list.


Order is as per NZ Herald article.


Martyn Bradbury Blogger (The Daily Blog)


Bomber is well known, he runs the largest left wing blog in New Zealand. He sends a lot of tweets, nearly 40 per day, but the fact that 70% of them are retweets. As well, only 6% of his tweets are replies. So Bomber is the sort of person who likes to use Twitter to push a message, but is not really willing to engage in debate or discussion with others.




Idiot/Savant is someone I have a lot of time for. I may not agree with him on everything, but always has interesting views on topics. He may not reply a huge amount, but nor is his feed a constant stream of retweets. I suspect that Idiot/Savant uses Twitter as a place to think out loud. The fact that just over 1 in 4 of his tweets are getting retweeted is a clear indication of the quality of his tweets.

David Slack


I don’t follow David, but looking at his stats, it is obvious that he is willing to engage in debate, with a 56% reply figure. Add in a solid 24% retweet rate, with an average of 6.53 retweets per tweet. He seems to be someone who will add a lot to your feed if you follow him, which I am just about to do.


Lew Stoddart

Lew sos

Lew is someone I have followed for a while. Always enjoy seeing his informed comment on the issues. Highly active, and a good contributor to debates. He is someone who is well worth following and is deserving of being on the list of top 100 Tweeters to follow.


Paora Ropata


I have only just started following Paora, so my entire assessment is based on these stats. I am surprised, but in a good way, to see such a low number of retweets, 6%. The stats tell me that he is someone who engages in a lot of conversations. This is what probably causes the low number of tweets being retweeted, but the high number of tweets being favourited.


Alex Coleman


Despite his high number of retweets, Alex is someone that also deserves to be on here, he engages in debate, and is well worth a follow.


Dave Armstrong


Just like the journalists list, there are some on this left wing pundits list who are on here simply cause of their job title. 2.44 tweets a day on average is not going to contribute much in the way of content to someones feed. Without naming anyone yet, there are a number of people on Stephanie’s alternative list who could have taken Dave’s place.


Morgan Godfrey


I am surprised that Morgan only tweets 21 times a day. I would have said it was much more than that. But he is one of the people on Twitter that I am really glad I found. He provides a great insight into issues, mainly from a Maōri perspective. Once again the high number of favourited tweets vs retweeted tweets, along with the reply rate, suggests that Morgan engages in a lot of conversations with a lot of good points. Which is the impression I have had.

Giovanni Tiso


Giovanni is someone who engages in a lot of conversations and debates. I don’t always agree with him. But he is another person on this list who will do a lot to fill your timeline with interesting views and debates.


Josie Pagani


Josie is another person who is on the list because of her work/profile off of Twitter. When I have seen her on TV she provides interesting views, but on Twitter, 1 tweet every 4 days? I don’t think following her is really going to add much to your twitter time line. I think there are far better pundits out there on the left who could have been on this list instead of her.


There are a number of people on here that contribute a lot to the informed online debate that happens on Twitter. There are a couple on there that I do question why they are there instead of some of the others I will talk about later.