Your friends are worth $2 each to Science!

I’m thigh deep in social network analysis here, and working up a grand post that summarized the whole scope, vision, and conclusion of #SciFund in terms of science engagement. It’s going to be hot, heavy, and luscious. Seriously.

Your friends

In the meantime, I thought I’d seed another little statistical tidbitlet that looks intriguing. This is actually an analysis that I’ve dropped for reasons that will become clear in a later post, as I think it’s actually hiding some things, but, it’s a fun one that I just can’t let go by.

Question – how much are your friends worth?

Answer: 2 DOLLARS!!!!

How do I get this? A quick generalized linear model (quasipoisson error, linear identity link function) looking at total raised as predicted by number of Twitter followers and Facebook friends. Both end up being different from 0 (LR Chisq Tests, LR Chisq = 7.984 and 4.922 respectively, with p=0.047 and p=0.027 respectively). And here’s the kicker:

glm(formula = total ~ TwitterFollowers + FacebookFriends, 
    family = quasipoisson(link = "identity"),
    data = projects)

Deviance Residuals:
   Min      1Q  Median      3Q     Max
-69.13  -19.13   -2.69   12.71   97.38

                 Estimate Std. Error t value Pr(>|t|)
(Intercept)      426.3531   383.4634   1.112   0.2757
TwitterFollowers   2.0229     0.8286   2.441   0.0212 *
FacebookFriends    2.4087     1.0431   2.309   0.0285 *
Signif. codes:  0 ‘***’ 0.001 ‘**’ 0.01 ‘*’ 0.05 ‘.’ 0.1 ‘ ’ 1

Now, this doesn’t fit the data super-duper well (R2 of observed v. predicted = 0.24 – blech), but, it is very intriguing. I’ll discuss next time how I clean this up (i.e., Facebook friends is not a good measure of scientific fanbase, and we need to be looking at pageviews, not total) – but, in the meantime, go look at your friends or followers list, and see the sea of glistening $2 bills flapping in the wind.

Oh, and, if you haven’t signed up for this round, sign-up closes on March 31st for #SciFund Round 2!!!!!!

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