Showing posts with label Social Media. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Social Media. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Allegheny Independent Media

Hello. My Name is Paul Ricci, MS MA. I have been a statistician/blogger for 20 years who has written on a variety of topics in and around the Allegheny Mountain Region of Pennsylvania. This project is an expansion of these efforts to further study issues facing the area without fluff. Below is a video introduction to the site. I have imported 20 posts from my old blog, CSI without Dead Bodies, to show examples of my work. This project is funded by a grant from the Leveler Foundation with the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies serving as a fiduciary. This project and website is a work in progress. The last 12 years of this blog have been great. Allegheny Independent Media is an expansion of these activities.  You're all welcome to join in. An announcement on the launch date is to come.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Pat, Lara, Kevin, Gabby and I: Working for Influence

On Tuesday, I went to a talk by local author Pat Farabaugh on his book Disastrous Floods and the Demise of Steel in Johnstown.  He gave a review of the 3 major floods in Johnstown's history and why the steel mills pulled out of Johnstown a few years after the 1977 flood.  In the interest of full disclosure, my mother's maiden name is also Farabaugh.  We are distant cousins.  We had a nice discussion about our books.  It's always nice to meet other authors.  Here is a link to his book on Amazon.

Also, the Out D' Coup podcast from Raging Chicken Press (I was interviewed by Kevin Mahoney in 2016) features Lara Putnam, professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh.  Like me, she has written on political shifts in the rust belt.  You can hear her interview with Kevin Mahoney above.  

Finally, I will comment on Gabby Petito.  I confess to being fascinated with this case.  Occasionally, I am taken in by social media feeding frenzies. The news came out on Tuesday about her former fiancé committing suicide by gunshot which was no surprise.  His notebook may hold more interesting revelations about what happened between the two.  I have travelled to the Grand Teton national park as seen in the photo below.

Like Pat, Lara, Kevin, and I, she was an aspiring social media influencer.  She has received much more attention than she would have if she lived.  The case has given me great examples to use in my psychology class on how appearances can be deceiving.  The contrasts between her Instagram posts where her and her fiancé seemed happy and the way she appeared in the Moab Police video where she was eager to excuse his behavior.  He made no effort to excuse her behavior.  Her family appears to be sublimating their grief over her death by creating the Gabby Petito Foundation to assist missing persons and victims of domestic violence.

Me driving through the Tetons in 2016

Other youtubers have put there two cents in on the case.  I have little to add to their commentary.  In addition to making a statement, they are also looking for views and likes of their work.  The competition is omnipresent.  

I admit that the influencing the others and I do is different than what Gabby was planning on doing.  Next week I will be back to posting on COVID in the hopes influencing people to get the vaccine.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Our Webinar on the Corona Virus Numbers in Cambria County

Last Tuesday I was a panelist on a webinar explaining the coronavirus numbers in Cambria County.  Other panelists were Jill Henning, Biology Professor at Pitt-Johnstown and Tulsi Shrivastava, a local data scientist.  You can view the slides for the presentation below.  It lasts for 40 minutes.  As of that panel, the county ranked 7th in the state in cases per 100,000, 8th in case mortality (# of deaths/# of deaths), 10th in testing rate, 15th in hospitalizations, 4th in deaths/100,000, 4th in patients on a ventilator/100,000, and 8th in full vaccinations/100,000.


Since then the numbers have changed.  The county now ranks 8th in the state in cases/100,000 at 8,346.  It still ranks 8th in the state in cases mortality at 3.37%.  It now ranks 11th in the state in testing at 38.17%, 10th in the state in hospitalizations at 32.26/100,000, 5th in deaths at 281.12/100,000, 5th in patients on a ventilator at 5.38/100,000, and 11th in full vaccinations at 2,290/100,000.  Recent numbers have been encouraging but we can't let our guard down.

On of the sponsors on the webinar was the Tribune Democrat.  Chip Minemyer, their editor moderated the panel.  The post of the Tribune-Democrat's article received 13 likes and 10 haha's.  Here is a smattering of comments it received on Facebook. 

"it all depends on how the numbers are collected. I have come to the conclusion that it's best not to believe stats."  (liked by 3)

"More propaganda from this site. Terrible." Liked by 5, laughed at by 1, and wowed by 1.

"And if you want it changed to the actual cause do you have to go to court to get it changed?" liked by 1.

"I’ve not seen cycle threshold values reported anywhere. Are those available with local Covid tests?" Liked by none.

"Depends on who inputs the numbers." liked by 2.

"Lol the numbers are wrong, What makes them a expert at a new virus? These people are part of the problem! I know a few people who past with in the past few months and none of them had covid but they mark their death as covid..."  Liked by 5, laughed at by 4, wowed by one.

"like you can trust the" Laughed at by one.

"Numbers do lie when a person with an agenda is on the other end.
Like the crooks in Tom Wolfs administration." Liked by 3, laughed at by one.

 "Why does the The Tribune-Democrat print letters advocating the murder of 74 million people?"

 Laughed at by one.

"As a native of the area, I'm pleased that the Tribune Democrat is still a real newspaper. Bravo!" Liked by 6 laughed at by 3.

"Sounds great if the numbers were 100% accurate" liked by none

" Unless the the people responsible for entering data are compromised" Liked by 4.

Some people may think me sadistic for even looking at these comments  but it does give clues to the thinking of those who In This Together Needs to reach.  I'd love to know how many of them actually read the article.

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Thursday, October 22, 2020

A Look at Local Candidates Facebook and Twitter Followings in 2020

Four years ago I looked at local and national candidates' Facebook and Twitter followings and how they corresponded to their election results.  Then, the candidate's Facebook followings predicted the winner in 8 of 9 races I looked at.  In 2018, Facebook followings only predicted the winner in 5 out of the 9 races I looked at.  This year I thought I would take break from Coronavirus and take a look at local candidates' Social media followings on Twitter and Facebook.

RCP Avg %

Facebook Following

Twitter Following

Biden (D)




Trump (R)




Jorgenson (L)




Hawkins (G)




The first contested election in the area is of course the Presidential.  I only found the candidates national Facebook and Twitter pages so I will compare their national pages to their national poll averages from Real Clear Politics.  The table above shows that Biden considerable lags behind Trump in Facebook and Twitter followings but is ahead in the national poll averages.  Biden's social media presence has not increased by much since the primaries.

Facebook Following

Twitter Following

Joyce (R)



Rowley (D)



The race for the PA 13th congressional district is between  incumbent Republican John Joyce and Democrat Todd Rowley.  There is public no poll data for this race so I will have to wait for  the election results.  I can see that Joyce has a larger presence on Facebook but not on Twitter.  One of the platforms will predict the winner.


Facebook Following

Twitter Following

Dougherty (D)




Langerholc (R)




The 35th PA state senate district is contested by incumbent Republican Wayne Langerholc and Democrat Shaun Dougherty. As with the congressional race, there is no poll data and there is a split advantage for the candidates between platforms.the results will determine which is right.

Facebook Following

Twitter Following

Burns (D)



Terndrup (R)



The last race I'm looking at is the PA 72 State House race between incumbent democrat Frank Burns and Republican Howard Terndup.  Burns has an advantage on both Facebook and Twitter.  We'll see how it corresponds to the election results.

In this COVID-19 election it would seem that a larger social media presence would give a candidate the advantage.  Biden's presence was not as strong as Sanders or Warren yet Biden won the nomination (just as the pandemic was begining).  I'm sure Trump will do everything he can to win.

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Monday, September 28, 2020

10 Years of CSI without Dead Bodies: the top 18 posts of All Time

The tenth anniversary of this blog is now upon us.  It just happens to coincide with the publication of my book.  The blog has been a source for much of the content for the book.  I will be having a book signing on October 9 at the Chameleon Bookstore.  

I wanted to present the top posts for the whole history of the blog but Google Analytics changed its algorithm so that is presents data for the last 3 years.  Blogger does have a built in stat counter so I will use that.  The built in counter does not filter out bot traffic very well but it's all I have.  It provides only the top 18 posts of all time.  

18. Greta Thunberg and Young Idealism

This post from Sept 2019 discusses the Swedish climate activist's trip to the US.

In November 2018, I created a poll on the blog for the greatest nonfiction book of all time (which can be voted on in the poll above) in response to the Great American Read poll that PBS conducted.  This post looks at the early results of the poll.

16. Do you Hear What I Hear? Sounds like Passing the Buck

This was a post on Christmas Eve about the song.  This post may have been buoyed by spam and/or bot traffic.

15Do NBA Coaches who didn’t play in the NBA fare the same as NFL Coaches?

In this post I took a look at how elite NBA coaches who played in the NBA fared compared to those who did not.  I also compared the elite NBA coaches to elite NFL coaches to see if playing in the league made a difference in their performance.

Another look at the best nonfiction book poll results.

This post takes a look at the algorithms that social media companies use to keep eyeballs focused on their sites.  This is the first post on this list that was made before I bought a domain name for the site.  It saw a surge in pageviews after the domain was bought.

This post looks at how Trump shutting down the government in early 2019 and why the polls were preventing him from repeating the act to get his border wall funded.

As preparation for the Democratic Presidential Primaries was heating up, I took a look at the candidates' social media followings.  More specifically I looked at what percentage of their twitter followers were real.

In the 2019 election, I took a look at the propaganda campaign against the Republican candidate for Cambria County Commissioner Jerry Carnicella.

In this pre domain post I looked at the algorithms used by onlie dating sites to make romantic matches.

In this post I looked at how National Honor Society membership and school year predicted prestige in college admission at my high school alma mater.

This post was part of a series of posts looking at campaign contributions from the healthcare industry for freshman democrats. 

This post looked at the differences in special education populations in local school districts.  This is an excerpt from my book.

This post looked at the effect of the race/ethnicity of freshman democrats in Congress and of their support for single payer healthcare on the campaign contributions that they received from the healthcare industry.

This post was another inspiration for my book which looked at factors that explained why African Americans lived to be 64.8 years old in Cambria County which was 10 years shorter than African Americans nationwide.

This was an earlier post looking at how Facebook and Twitter followings predicted the poll standing of Democratic Presidential candidates last year.  There was a strong prediction for the candidates except for Joe Biden.

This is one of the two posts on this list from the early days of this blog.  It talks about how to use Barry Sanders football statistics to explain climate change to a sportscenter junkie.

 1. Income and Life Expectancy. What does it Tell Us About US?

This is the all time most read post for the blog.  It was buoyed by a link to the BBC Documentary The Joy of Stats in 2010.  It received more than twice as many page views that the second most read post on the list.  It looked at how income predicted life expectancy for each state in the U.S. but not for the District of Columbia. 

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Sunday, March 1, 2020

Facebook and Twitter Primaries: Super Tuesday Update

Joe Biden had an impressive win in South Carolina yesterday.  The real test for the seven remaining candidates is Super Tuesday in two days with 14 states and two territories voting.  This gives a total of 1,242 pledged delegates at stake or 32% of the total pledged delegates.  I thought I would take a look at the state of the candidates social media following to see how it predicts their Real Clear Politics (RCP) national poll averages.  Super Tuesday is the closest thing to a national primary.  The numbers are below.

Feb RCP Avg %
FB Following Feb
Twitter Following Feb
Twitter Audit Feb % Real Followers
Real Twitter Following

Above we can see that Bernie Sanders leads in the polls nationally and in his Facebook and Twitter followings.  The Twitter audit column shows an estimate of the percentage to Twitter Followings are real (ie not bots). The last column shows the estimate or the real number of Twitter followers.  Bernie Sanders does have a low percentage of real followers but still leads in the overall number of real followers.  Tom Steyer is included even though he dropped out of the race yesterday.  The graph below shows how Twitter followings are associated with national support.  

The R squared statistics shows the percentage of the variability in the poll averages that is accounted by the variability in the twitter following.  This value is 0.8546 or 85%.  In January, this relationship accounted for 51% of the variability in the poll averages.  This was mostly due to Biden having high poll averages but low a Twitter following and to there being more candidates in the race.

When I limit the data to real twitter followers, the relationship with the RCP poll average becomes even stronger accounting for 91% of the variability in the RCP average.  If 100% of the variability were accounted for, all of the candidates would fall right on the line in the graph.

Looking at the relationship between the Facebook followings and the RCP averages, a weaker relationship that that with Twitter emerges.  Sixty-three percent of the variability is accounted for which is higher than the 42% in January.  These higher percentages in the Twitter and Facebook relationships suggest greater engagement by consumers of social media with the candidates and its potential influence on voters now that primaries are heating up.

Trump now has a following of 73,242,775 on Twitter (79% real) and 26,091,741 Facebook.  It remains to be seen what impact it will have on the general election.

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