"I would say Americans who are interested in soccer will probably get more information from my Twitter feed than from any other source on social media" - Piers Morgan, in a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal.
Jon Holmes writes: Say what you like about Piers Morgan, but it's hard to deny the man is a master of self-promotion.
However, his claim to the WSJ on the value of his tweets about football left even us at TEAMtalk speechless.
Pity the poor Americans who might believe it. Instead of receiving useful information about transfers, tactics, finance, managerial ins and outs, statistics, betting advice or general football insight, they're met with a stream of pro-Arsenal praise or Gunners gloom (depending on the club's latest result), wind-ups directed at Tottenham fan Lord Sugar or celebrity chuff about his talk show. Yes, Morgan's got over 2million followers - but will they actually learn anything about football from him?
Similarly, there's a host of players using Twitter - such as Jack Wilshere, Rio Ferdinand, Michael Owen and Joey Barton - who provide a glimpse into the life of a professional sportsman, plus a few opinions as well (more than a few in Barton's case). Entertaining they might be, but if you're after some choice titbits of football info, you're better off looking elsewhere.
There's no shortage of choice either. For those in search of football knowledge, the rise of social media has made journalists, bloggers, broadcasters, statisticians and other experts more accessible than ever before - particularly on Twitter, which celebrated its sixth birthday in March. But with over 100million active users on the platform, finding those trusted tweeters can be tricky - which is where #TheFootball50 comes in.
Here at TEAMtalk, we've identified 50 tweeters who we feel provide essential information on football. Piers Morgan has nothing on this lot. Narrowing down the list to just 50 proved difficult, and sparked much debate. We wanted as much representation as possible to cover the Premier League, Football League, international football, world leagues... in short, a flavour of the broad spectrum on football that Twitter provides. Clearly some fine tweeters have been omitted (and we're sure you'll pick us up on those who you feel deserved inclusion) but hopefully, this list will serve as a jumping-off point for you to discover even more.
After compiling the list, we handed it over to influencer analytics group PeerIndex for closer scrutiny. PeerIndex help to understand an individual's online influence in a given topic by analysing how people respond to what they say and share. Craig Hughes from the group explains more:
CH: PeerIndex ratings are calculated by measuring Twitter presence in terms of authority, audience and activity within their topics of interest, on a scale of 1 to 100. Although 100 is the maximum possible score, 90 or more puts the tweeter in the top 0.01 per cent of the population and the average score is a mere 19.
For TEAMtalk's #TheFootball50, PeerIndex assessed how active the selected users are within the topic of 'Football', the relevancy and size of their audience, how engaged that audience is and how much they comment or share the user's tweets.
Visit www.peerindex.com and sign in via your Twitter account to learn more about your online impact.
JH: The PeerIndex data gives context to the list that we've curated here at TEAMtalk. Below, the users are ranked from 50 down to 1 based on their 'Football' topic rating (click on the score on the right to open up the user's PeerIndex profile). Where two or more tweeters have the same 'Football' rating, we've separated them by their overall PeerIndex score.
I've also included sample tweets from each of our 50, and I've explained why we feel they merited inclusion. Then it's over to you... where do you get your football information from on Twitter? Which of those users connects best with their followers? Who do you find yourself re-tweeting most? Let us know by posting a Comment below, or tweet us @TEAMtalk and we'll re-tweet the best answers we get.
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