If volume of activity on social media was the only criterion we used to choose political leaders, there would be a landslide at the PC convention in two weeks.
Former municipal affairs minister Steve Kent tweets regularly each day, every day. By comparison, competitors Paul Davis and John Ottenheimer have used the social media platform far less frequently, with Ottenheimer only tweeting for the last couple of months.
The big numbers
How many tweets have the candidates made on their Twitter accounts? The numbers ... well, they vary widely. In ascending order:
John Ottenheimer: 94
Paul Davis: 389
Steve Kent: 31,000 (approx.)
That's correct: Steve Kent's overall tweeting volume is about 64 times the combined output of Ottenheimer and Davis combined.
How long on Twitter?
John Ottenheimer is the newbie to Twitter, having made his first tweet on July 4, 2014, while he was travelling to the Salmon Festival as part of his campaign. Paul Davis sent his first tweet — consisting entirely of a link to a government news release — on April 7, 2011. Steve Kent's first tweet, on April 29, 2009, was about preparations for the House of Assembly and a Scouts Canada board of governors meeting.
Tweets per day?
Using the time that each candidate has been on Twitter, we looked at how frequently the candidates post to Twitter, based on how many days they have managed their accounts.
Paul Davis: 0.2 tweets per day
Steve Kent: 15.84 tweets per day
John Ottenheimer: 1.62 tweets per day
Community and influence
It's sometimes telling to look at the community that a Twitter user has – that is, how many people follow them, and in turn, how many they follow. Here's how the aspiring premiers compare.
Followers: Steve Kent leads the pack with 6,111. Paul Davis has 2,231 followers. John Ottenheimer, with the youngest account, trails with 506 followers.
Following: In terms of following others, Kent is again in front, with a count of 2,124. Ottenheimer follows 208 others, while Davis follows 183.
Klout: As an extra metric, we looked at Klout scores, which measure Twitter accounts on how influential their activity is on the community at large, measured through retweets, conversations and other engagement. Kent's Klout score is highest, at 64. Davis has a Klout score of 51, while Ottenheimer ranks third, with 48.
Tweets from the road
Social media is useful for getting a message out and recruiting supporters, as well as for documenting travels. Here are some representative tweets that each leadership contender has made on the road.
Sunday dinner with friends and supporters in the community hall, Mount Carmel, SMB. pic.twitter.com/6exltBql9T— John Ottenheimer (@JohnOttenheimer) July 13, 2014