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Heralds of the Emojipocalypse

Saturday, May 9th, 2015

The final slide of my presentation (.pptx, .pdf) at last weekend’s BibleTech conference half-jokingly argued that 100% of digital Bible notes would contain emoji by the year 2028, up from 1-2% in 2015:

An exponential curve extends from 1% in 2015 to 100% in 2028.

Unknown to me, the previous day, Instagram had published an analysis showing how 40% of Instagram posts contained emoji in April 2015. Already they’re well on their way to over 50% of all posts including emoji–some countries (Finland, France) are already there, which in turn means that the emojipocalypse may arrive sooner than expected.

Instagram’s analysis ascribes consistent meanings to certain emoji. For example, they provide several religion-related meanings for the so-called* “praise the Lord” emoji:

🙌: … #yeslawd, … #stayblessed, … thou

“Thou” in particular suggests that people are sharing KJV-based Bible verse pictures with this emoji attached to them.

The Instagram study, with its high emoji percentages, indicates to me that people use emoji when they’re already primed for images and especially when they’re sharing a photo. This explanation makes a lot of sense to me, and I feel silly for not thinking of it earlier, especially considering that a whole section of my talk discusses how people approach the Bible differently when images are involved. Let’s look at the data:

Percent of Tweets with Emoji

Bible verses shared on Twitter Links to Bible websites on Twitter
All tweets Excluding retweets All tweets Excluding retweets
With image 14.7% 13.3% 24.8% 6.2%
Without image 2.4% 3.0% 2.7% 2.4%

There are two datasets here: one tracks all the Bible verses shared on Twitter (for one day only: about 200,000 tweets), and the other tracks links to Bible websites on Twitter (for all of April 2015: about two million tweets). In both datasets we see that people are far more likely to include emoji when their tweet includes an image than when it doesn’t.

So there you go: emoji usage correlates with image usage, at least on Twitter and at least with Bible verses.

Separately, the Bible-verse Twitter tracker now keeps a daily total of emoji shared with Bible verses.

* No one actually calls it this.

What Twitterers Are Giving up for Lent (2015 Edition)

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

The top 100 things that people on Twitter are giving up for Lent in 2015.

“School” once again tops the list of things Twitterers are giving up for Lent, with over 5% of tweets mentioning it. This year’s list is quite stable compared to last year’s, especially in the top ten.

My hypothesis last year was that “school” was so high because Ash Wednesday coincided with spring break at many schools, but that isn’t the case this year. In the UK, A-Level exams are coming up at the beginning of March, so that may be part of it.

Another surprise for me this year, given the cold weather gripping the northeastern United States, is that weather-related tweets aren’t more popular; as a category, they move up one place from last year (to #12 from #13), though individually “snow” moves up eight places and “cold weather” moves up 79 places.

Hot Cheetos continue their run, making the top 100 for the first time.

The biggest surprise to me is #12, f***boys. I wasn’t familiar with this term before, and I’m still not totally sure what it means. Knowyourmeme.com says that it’s “used as a pejorative toward men who are perceived as oversexed or disrespectful toward women,” while also serving as a meme involving skeletons on Tumblr. It’s easily the biggest gainer this year.

This list draws from 409,000 tweets during February 14 to 21 that mention giving up something for Lent and, except as noted, excludes retweets.

Rank Word Count Change from last year’s rank
1. School 6,281 0
2. Chocolate 4,293 0
3. Twitter 3,876 0
4. Alcohol 3,216 +1
5. Social networking 3,090 +2
6. Swearing 2,887 -2
7. Soda 2,473 -1
8. Sweets 2,122 0
9. Fast food 2,056 0
10. Coffee 1,706 +4
11. College 1,631 +27
12. F***boys 1,527  
13. You 1,462 +5
14. Lent 1,348 -4
15. Meat 1,335 -4
16. Homework 1,208 -4
17. Sex 1,165 -2
18. Junk food 1,112 -5
19. Pizza 1,067 +1
20. Bread 1,060 -3
21. Chips 905 -5
22. Facebook 853 -3
23. Boys 665 +6
24. Candy 625 -2
25. Netflix 610 +12
26. Religion 602 -2
27. Beer 596 +5
28. Starbucks 591 -7
29. Work 575 -2
30. Sugar 565 +15
31. Instagram 554 -8
32. Ice cream 520 -4
33. Life 489 0
34. Winter 454 +2
35. Smoking 441 -4
36. Wine 435 +13
37. Me 434 +10
38. Cookies 430 -12
39. Chipotle 422 +4
40. Snapchat 408 +16
41. Feelings 393 +27
42. Marijuana 381 -12
43. Shopping 374 -3
44. Rice 357 +10
45. My phone 351 -6
45. Virginity 351 -21
46. Catholicism 337 +9
47. Food 329 -13
48. Cheese 315 -2
49. Stuff 307 -8
50. McDonald’s 300 -15
51. Carbs 295 -1
52. Snow 284 +8
53. Desserts 276 +8
54. French fries 257 +9
55. People 248 +4
56. Coke 245 +1
57. Fried food 242 -5
58. Red meat 237 +14
59. Masturbation 233 -15
60. Selfies 230 -18
61. Hope 224 +23
61. Sobriety 224 -14
62. Procrastination 219 -4
63. Complaining 216 +14
64. Makeup 214 +2
64. Caffeine 214 -12
65. Booze 211 +17
65. Negativity 211 +5
66. Takeout 210 -2
67. Eating out 184 +22
68. Cake 183 +17
69. Chick Fil A 179 +31
70. Obama 178 -5
71. Fizzy drinks 175 -9
72. Porn 173 -4
73. Diet Coke 172 0
74. Pancakes 159 +5
75. Breathing 158 0
76. Classes 157 +55
77. Sleep 156 +6
78. Peanut butter 152 +2
79. Cold weather 151 +79
80. Hot Cheetos 145 +25
81. Liquor 144 +13
82. Tea 143 -4
83. Dunkin Donuts 138 +27
84. Taco Bell 137 -17
85. Men 135 +21
86. Sarcasm 133 -12
87. Winning 127 +32
88. Online shopping 126 +19
89. Sweet tea 125 -8
90. Caring 124 -14
91. Pasta 123 -5
92. Naps 122 +23
93. Juice 117 +5
94. Nothing 115 -25
94. A levels 115 +37
94. Being mean 115 +4
95. Him 113 +22
96. New Year’s resolutions 112 +34
97. My swag 111 -27
97. Gluten 111 +4
98. Exercise 110 -8
98. Church 110 -4
99. My boyfriend 109 +2
100. Dairy 106 +26

Including Retweets

If we include retweets, here are the top ten things given up this year. It’s somewhat different:

Rank Word Count Difference from non-retweet rank
1. School 38,532 0
2. College 17,615 +9
3. F***boys 6,461 +9
4. Chocolate 5,127 -2
5. Twitter 5,074 -2
6. Alcohol 4,427 -2
7. Social networking 3,968 -2
8. Swearing 3,534 -2
9. Obama 3,351 +61
10. You 2,940 +3
11. Soda 2,820 -4
12. Coffee 2,506 -2
13. Sweets 2,499 -5
14. Homework 2,456 +2
15. Fast food 2,356 -6

Second-Wave Social Media

Has Instagram peaked?

Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Tinder, Vine, WhatsApp.

Fast Food

Chipotle passes McDonald’s this year. Chick Fil A passes Taco Bell, and Whataburger continues its rise.

McDonald's, Chiptole, Taco Bell, Chick Fil A, Dunkin Donuts, Whataburger, In N Out, Domino's, and KFC.

Snack Foods

Hot Cheetos are still on the move.

Hot Cheetos, popcorn, Doritos, potato chips, Cheetos

TV vs. Netflix

As TV declines, Netflix rises.

TV, Netflix

Categories

Rank Category Number of Tweets
1. food 30,148
2. school/work 10,819
3. technology 9,277
4. habits 8,057
5. smoking/drugs/alcohol 6,230
6. relationship 4,229
7. irony 2,978
8. sex 2,274
9. health/hygiene 1,601
10. religion 1,470
11. entertainment 1,069
12. weather 986
13. generic 834
14. shopping 685
15. sports 410
16. money 276
17. politics 216
18. clothes 174
19. celebrity 165
20. possessions 83

Media Coverage

The Lent Tracker received some media attention this year. In roughly chronological order:

  1. What is Lent and when does it start? (Bath Chronicle)
  2. Will millions of Christians give up Facebook and Twitter for Lent? (MarketWatch)
  3. Top things Twitter users are ‘giving up’ for Lent (AZ Central. It even has a video.)
  4. Chocolate or Facebook – what will you be giving up this Ash Wednesday for Lent? (Irish Central)
  5. 7 Ideas to Give Up For Lent (or just because) (North DelaWHERE Happening)
  6. Top 10 Things People Will Be Giving Up For Lent, According to Twitter (97.3 The Dawg)
  7. What To Give Up for Lent? Twitter Reveals Top 100 Ideas of 2015 (Christianity Today)
  8. Here’s What People On Twitter Say They’re Giving Up For Lent (Time)
  9. What do Twitter users say they’re giving up for Lent? (KWWL)
  10. The Alpha and Omega of Lent: 5 FAQs on Ash Wednesday (AL.com)
  11. Chocolate, smoking, fast food: What are you giving up for Lent? (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
  12. Here’s What People on Twitter Say They’re Giving Up For Lent (Ryot News + Action)
  13. When is Lent 2015 and what should I give up? (Lincolnshire Echo)
  14. What people are giving up for Lent, as told to Twitter (Washington Post. I actually spoke to this reporter.)
  15. School and chocolate top list of what Twitter users are giving up for Lent (Kansas City Star)

Track in Real Time What People Are Giving Up for Lent in 2015

Monday, February 16th, 2015

See the top 100 things people are giving up in 2015 for Lent on Twitter, continually updated until February 21, 2015. You can also use the Historical Lent Tracker to see trends since 2009, though 2015 is still in flux, so I wouldn’t draw any conclusions (except maybe relating to Hot Cheetos–I seriously don’t understand that one) until the end of the week.

As I write this post, with about 4,000 tweets analyzed, perennial favorites “alcohol,” “chocolate,” and “social networking” lead the list. Given winter weather conditions in the eastern U.S., I expect that snow- and winter-related tweets will be popular this year.

Look for the usual post-mortem on February 21, 2015.

Study of the Religious Landscape on Twitter

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

A recent study looks at the U.S. religious landscape on Twitter. The researchers analyzed nearly 100 million tweets across 250,000 Twitter accounts to identify similarities and differences among self-identified followers of Christianity, Atheism, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. Christians comprise the largest number of accounts, at just over 200,000, and I’ll focus on them here.

A word cloud shows the most-relevant accounts to follow for each religion.

This word cloud shows the accounts that adherents to each religion are more likely to follow than people of other religions. Green is Christian, gray is atheist, orange is Jewish, pink is Muslim, yellow is Buddhist, and blue is Hindu. This figure is reproduced from the original paper.

According to the paper, here are the most-popular Twitter accounts that Christians tend to follow more than followers of other religions:

  1. RickWarren
  2. CSLewisDaily
  3. TimTebow
  4. JohnPiper
  5. PastorMark
  6. lecrae
  7. JoyceMeyer
  8. MaxLucado
  9. christomlin
  10. louiegiglio
  11. MattChandler74
  12. JohnCMaxwell
  13. AndyStanley
  14. BethMooreLPM
  15. karijobe

(I’m estimating from the above word cloud, so the exact order may be off.)

And, again according to the paper, here are the words that Christians most-commonly use in tweets compared to followers of other religions–in other words, these words serve as statistical markers of Christianity: if you use them a lot, you’re probably a Christian or hang out with Christians.

  1. Jesus
  2. Christ
  3. God
  4. Church
  5. Lord
  6. Christian
  7. Bible
  8. Prayer
  9. Pray
  10. Worship
  11. Grace
  12. Blessed
  13. Faith
  14. Praise
  15. Pastor

(Again, I’m eyeballing the order from the word cloud included in the paper.)

Most-popular Christian leaders on Twitter?

In March 2014, I wondered if it would be possible to identify and cluster the most-popular “Christian” Twitter accounts. Starting with a list of 100 Christian leaders on Twitter, I wrote a program to work through their friend lists (and then the friends of those friends, and so on), seeing who Christian leaders most tended to follow. After crunching the numbers for 13,316 users, I took the top 200 (using a PageRank algorithm) you see below.

The list contains 149 men, 23 women (by my count, all but nine–Christine Caine, Joyce Meyer, Bobbie Houston, Beth Moore, Lysa TerKeurst, Jen Hatmaker, Ann Voskamp, Sheila Walsh, and Anne Lamott–are artists or wives of prominent Christian men; the remainder are speakers or writers), 22 organizations, and 6 quote accounts (two for C.S. Lewis and one each for Tim Keller, A.W. Tozer, Charles Spurgeon, and Henri Nouwen).

Originally I wanted to cluster them (pastors, artists, etc.), but the math didn’t produce strong clusters except to identify the spam accounts (most of them spouting random Bible verses).

Here are the top 200 “Christian Twitterati” in March 2014, along with their descriptions as they appeared at that time.

Rank Account Name Type Description (March 2014)
1. RickWarren Rick Warren male No socks. Loves Jesus & people.Mentors young leaders. Helps the poor, sick & lost thru P.E.A.C.E. Plan. Serves Saddleback. Encourages pastors. Wrote some books
2. louiegiglio Louie Giglio male Happy to be a door holder.
3. MattChandler74 Matt Chandler male Grace addict, husband to @laurenchandler, father of three, Lead Pastor @villagechurchtx, President @Acts29 Church Planting Network
4. joelhouston Joel Timothy Houston male Gracious fury, written in my saviours scars; Mercy Mercy, now engraved upon my heart. ZION – 26 • 2 • 13
5. shelleygiglio shelley giglio female part of the 268generation…
6. lecrae Lecrae male Booking: Mike infocmg@wmeentertainment.com Larry larryshields@theagencygroup.com
7. timkellernyc Timothy Keller male This is Timothy Keller. Sometimes my son and others post here as well. Founder of Redeemer Presbyterian Church and City to City. Husband to Kathy.
8. BrianCHouston Brian Houston male My wife and I are pastors and founders of a church called Hillsong. We are pretty passionate about our family, the Church, & helping people any way we can!
9. DarleneZschech Darlene Zschech female Married 2 Mark, Mum 2 Amy& Andrew, Chloe & Zoe, Grammie 2 Ava Pearl, Roman Emmanuel & Ruthie Feather,committed 2 serving Christ & worshipping Him with all I am.
10. christynockels Christy Nockels female Wife! Mother, singer, poet, songwriter
11. ChristineCaine Christine Caine female Follower of Jesus Christ.
12. CTmagazine Christianity Today organization Christianity Today is the source for those eager to engage the world for Christ and curious about the people, events, and trends shaping the church and culture.
13. CSLewisDaily C. S. Lewis quotes C. S. Lewis Quotes – Everyday
14. christomlin Chris Tomlin male husband, father, songwriter
15. MaxLucado Max Lucado male i played tuba in the High School marching band. been trying to stay in step with the music ever since.
16. drmoore Russell Moore male President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
17. PastorMark Mark Driscoll male A nobody trying to tell everybody about Somebody.
18. edstetzer Ed Stetzer male Christian, hubby, #DadOf3Girls, pres of @LifeWayResearch, missiologist, @GoGraceChurch pastor. Too loud. Fast talker. Sry I can’t read/reply to all msgs & DMs.
19. passion268 Passion Conferences organization A student movement inspiring a generation to live for what matters most. [Isa. 26:8]
20. bradlomenick Brad Lomenick male leading the charge on CATALYST (@CatalystLeader), a movement of young leaders
21. craiggroeschel Craig Groeschel male Husband, Dad, Pastor of LifeChurch.tv
22. mattmahermusic Matt Maher male newfoundland to phoenix to nashville to ________
23. AndyStanley AndyStanley male Do more. Give more. Be Rich.
24. crowdermusic David Crowder male
25. matt_redman Matt Redman male Husband, Father, Songwriter
26. israelhoughton israelhoughton male Husband, Father, Friend of God.
27. bubbawatson bubba watson male Christian. Husband. Daddy. Pro Golfer. Check out BubbaGolf on iTunes! #bubbagolf #urwelcome
28. judahsmith Judah Smith male Lead Pastor at @thecitychurch, husband, father, and golfer. http://t.co/2xyMToSx6q
29. BillHybels Bill Hybels male Sr. Pastor of Willow Creek, convener of The Global Leadership Summit, passionate about the local church, author, speaker, sailor, and grandfather to Henry & Mac
30. reuben_morgan Reuben Morgan male writer+believer. thankful to be here now on a mission with people I love
31. JohnPiper John Piper male Founder-Teacher, Desiring God, Chancellor, BCS. Spreading a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ.
32. carllentzNYC carl lentz male HILLSONGNYC..if you don’t know, now you know…
33. JoyceMeyer Joyce Meyer female Sharing Christ – Loving People
34. jdgreear J.D. Greear male Lead Pastor of the Summit Church. Husband to Veronica, dad of Kharis, Allie, Ryah and Adon. Author of ‘Gospel.’ Not ‘the’ gospel, but a book about it. Rom 1:16.
35. kpstanfill Kristian Stanfill male #Passion2014 // Atlanta Jan 17-18 // Houston Feb 14-15 // two cities…one heartbeat.
36. bobbiehouston Bobbie Houston female Wife of Brian, mum of Joel/Esther/Ben/Luc/Laura/Pete, Grammie of Sav, Lexi,Bailey, Willow,Jack,ZIon. Grateful follower of Christ!
37. stevenfurtick Steven Furtick male Pastor of Elevation Church. New book – CRASH THE CHATTERBOX – now available
38. donaldmiller Donald Miller male Founder of StoryBrand, a process that helps companies speak clearly to their customers. Husband to @queenboots.
39. Jentezen Jentezen Franklin male
40. DailyKeller Tim Keller Wisdom quotes Fan Promo Site for Tim Keller @timkellernyc. Tweeting all things Keller and Gospel related – Books, Quotes, News, Blogs, Updates, and Kindle Deals Daily.
41. LisaBevere Lisa Bevere female A woman w/a weapon who wants to be sure every girl has a sword. Author-Advocate & Speaker. Wife of John Bevere-mother of 4 sons-Gmama of 2+.
42. BethMooreLPM Beth Moore female Crazy about Jesus. Saved my life. Want to see people know Him and love Him.
43. nickygumbel Nicky Gumbel male Husband of @pippagumbel, Vicar of @htbchurch & pioneer of @alphacourse. Pippa & I write a daily Bible commentary http://t.co/y7xmCjzhta #BiOY #Alpha #TryAlpha
44. davidnasser David Nasser male Husband,father, author, speaker, pastor…
45. darrinpatrick Darrin Patrick male Son, Husband, Father, Pastor, Chaplain to the St Louis Cardinals – Author of The Dude’s Guide to Manhood
46. TGC The Gospel Coalition organization TGC exists to promote gospel-centered ministry for the next generation.
47. LigonDuncan Ligon Duncan male Chancellor/CEO of the Reformed Theological Seminary system @ReformTheoSem and John E. Richards Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology
48. JohnCMaxwell John C Maxwell male Bestselling author & speaker on leadership. Christian. Blogger. Trainer. Coach. Assisted by Stephanie Wetzel (SW).
49. DaveRamsey Dave Ramsey male New York Times best-selling author and host of The Dave Ramsey Show. Follow the rest of my team at @RamseyShow, @DaveRamseyLIVE, and @EntreLeadership
50. michaelwsmith Michael W. Smith male New single YOU WON’T LET GO now available EVERYWHERE! From the new Michael W. Smith album, SOVEREIGN available everywhere May 13, 2014!
51. HarrisJosh Joshua Harris male Pastor @Covenantlife. In love with Shannon. Three awesome kids. Learning to be a disciple of Jesus day by day. Written some books.
52. TimTebow Tim Tebow male Blessed
53. TripLee116 Trip Lee male Rapper, Author. Living by faith in a good God. The Good Life Album and Book are in stores now
54. Chris_Hodges Chris Hodges male Follower of Jesus, husband, dad, senior pastor of Church of the Highlands, author of Fresh Air.
55. rayortlund Ray Ortlund male
56. greglaurie Greg Laurie male Pastor and Evangelist :: Knowing God and Making Him Known :: Maintained by Pastor Greg and the Harvest Web Team
57. perrynoble Perry Noble male Senior Pastor of @NewSpring. Author of Unleash! and Overwhelmed.
58. EdYoung Ed Young male I’m Ed Young, husband, father of four and the senior pastor of Fellowship Church, located in Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX; Miami, FL; Columbia, SC; and London, England.
59. PaulTripp Paul David Tripp male Pastor. Author. Conference Speaker. Connecting the transforming power of Jesus Christ to everyday life.
60. MarkBatterson Mark Batterson male Lead Pastor, National Community Church in Washington DC. Author, The Circle Maker, All In, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, Wild Goose Chase, Soulprint…
61. hillsongunited Hillsong United organization White Album avalaible for pre purchase – http://t.co/tOkODeCkb7
62. karijobe Kari Jobe female Worshipper. Girly-girl. Longboard skateboard-er. World traveller. Random tweeter. Songwriter. I love life and Jesus. MAJESTIC CD/DVD will release March 25!
63. BishopJakes TD Jakes male Official Twitter for Bishop T. D. Jakes
64. albertmohler albertmohler male President @sbts; author; broadcaster; theologian
65. TozerAW A W Tozer quotes Inspiring, encouraging and challenging quotes from the new works of AW Tozer–including My Daily Pursuit–and a few of his classic quotes.
66. CSLewisU C. S. Lewis quotes Daily Thoughts and ideas from CS Lewis
67. JudWilhite Jud Wilhite male Senior Pastor at @centralonline. Married to @Lori_Wilhite with 2 kids. New York Times Best-Selling author. Espresso addict & Dallas Cowboys fan.
68. PriscillaShirer Priscilla Shirer female Just a girl….with a Sword
69. jamesmacdonald James MacDonald male Revelation 1:2 – For the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ
70. ScottyWardSmith Scotty Smith male Founding Pastor of Christ Community Church. Husband, dad, granddad, lover of the gospel, photographer, fisherman, and so blessed
71. dinorizzo Dino Rizzo male Husband to DeLynn, father to three awesome kids, and author of the book Servolution.
72. plattdavid David Platt male Husband to Heather. Dad to Caleb, Joshua, Mara Ruth, & Isaiah. Pastor of The Church at Brook Hills.
73. JosephPrince Joseph Prince male It’s my passion to share God’s grace radically & see lives gloriously transformed!
74. between2worlds BetweenTwoWorlds male Justin Taylor: Christian, husband, father, elder, acquisitions editor, blogger
75. desiringgod Desiring God organization We want people everywhere to understand and embrace the truth that *God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him*
76. MarkDever Mark Dever male
77. CJMahaney C.J. Mahaney male Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love; Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, Seal it for Thy courts above.
78. RevKevDeYoung Kevin DeYoung male Senior Pastor, University Reformed Church. Married to Trisha. Five children. Christian.
79. ThabitiAnyabwil Thabiti Anyabwile male Foreknown, predestined, called, justified, glorified. Hubby to Kristie, daddy to 3, Pastor of FBC, satisfied in Christ.
80. GabeLyons Gabe Lyons male
81. JeffersonBethke Jefferson Bethke male I like to drink coffee, create stuff, & sleep. Husband to @alyssajoybethke & Co-Founder of @clarocandles. Author of this — http://t.co/wLOFZhkjh1
82. jackngraham Jack Graham male Husband to Deb. Dad to Jason, Kelly, Josh. Dad in love 2 Toby, Kaytie. Grandad to Ian, Dylan, Levi. Pastor Prestonwood.
83. bobgoff Bob Goff male Author of Love Does. President and Founder, Restore International
84. CatalystLeader Catalyst organization A Convergence of Next Generation Leaders
85. KayWarren1 Kay Warren female Mom of 3,Grammy of 5, pastor’s wife, speaker, author,& advocate for those living with HIV, mental illness & 4 orphans. Determined 2 say yes to God, 2 choose joy
86. TonyDungy Tony Dungy male Husband to @LaurenDungy, father of nine, author (http://t.co/mOupp6iBLw), retired NFL coach, National Spokesman for @AllProDad. Live by Mark 8:36
87. mandisaofficial Mandisa female Jesus-follower. Contemporary Christian recording artist. Author. American Idol Season 5 finalist. Picture of health wrapped in a not-so-perfect tent…for now!
88. macpowell Mac Powell male Lead Singer of Third Day. Solo Country Project now available!
89. JohnBevere John Bevere male Husband of Lisa. Father to Addison & Juli, Austin, Alec, & Arden + G-Daddy to Asher & Baby Sophia! Author & Ambassador of Jesus Christ.
90. pwilson Pete Wilson male Pastor of @crosspoint_tv in Nashville, author of #LetHopeIn, husband, and father of 3 boys.
91. richwilkersonjr Rich Wilkerson Jr. male Married to the greatest lady in the world. Young adult pastor of The Vous (http://t.co/P23VgE2sqM)
92. laurenchandler Lauren Chandler female wife to matt. mother to audrey, reid + norah. lover of God. singer of songs. writer of stuff.
93. AndyMineo Andy Mineo male -|| Artist | Unashamed | #116 | Never Land EP & Heroes For Sale out now! ||- Booking (WME): http://t.co/0B2UdfwgWx
94. Spurgeon_ Charles Spurgeon quotes
95. theResurgence Resurgence organization Resurgence serves the church on mission by creating tools, training believers & connecting leaders. Sign up for our Resurgence conference http://t.co/A8kt1gsbwW
96. RealJohnGray John Gray male Aventer’s husband. John IV and Theory’s dad. Alice’s son. God’s Servant. Associate Teaching Pastor, Lakewood Church.
97. stovallweems Stovall Weems male
98. drtonyevans Tony Evans male Serving my Savior and my King. #KingdomMan #KingdomAgenda
99. JustinHolcomb Justin Holcomb male Episcopal priest, professor, & author
100. MatthewBarnett Matthew Barnett male Pastor of The Dream Center & Angelus Temple. Pre-order my new book “God’s Dream For You” -http://t.co/tCqS3DA2wT – Follow me on Instagram http://t.co/8SovoK95h3
101. TheA21Campaign The A21 Campaign organization We abolish human trafficking in the 21st century.
102. kevingerald Kevin Gerald male Leader, wife-lover, Jesus follower. http://t.co/sYxprXXCKS
103. randyalcorn Randy Alcorn male Author of over forty books, founder of Eternal Perspective Ministries; love Jesus, my wife Nanci, daughters, sons and five grandsons!
104. collinhansen Collin Hansen male Editorial Director for The Gospel Coalition, Author of ‘A God-Sized Vision’ and ‘Young, Restless, Reformed’
105. jonathanfalwell Jonathan Falwell male Pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, VA.
106. RealEricGeiger Eric Geiger male Vice President LifeWay Christian Resources. I follow Jesus and serve His Church, love my wife and kids, and want to play more basketball.
107. enditmovement ❌ END IT organization Shine A Light on Slavery.
108. kirkfranklin Kirk Franklin male The Official Kirk Franklin
109. NatalieGrant Natalie Grant female Jesus girl. Family girl. Singer girl. Freedom fighter.
110. PastorTullian Tullian Tchividjian male Pastor of @coralridgepc. Founder of @liberatenet. Grandson of @BillyGraham. Learning everyday that Jesus + Nothing = Everything.
111. PhilCooke Phil Cooke male Helping churches & nonprofits not suck at the media. http://t.co/EDnq7j8qXD http://t.co/Z4XZwHOgMk Recent books: One Big Thing & Unique
112. RaviZacharias Ravi Zacharias male Founder & President of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. Atlanta | Worldwide. Helping Thinkers Believe & Believers Think. Staff assists with tweets.
113. LysaTerKeurst Lysa TerKeurst female I’ve had a crush on Art for 20 years. We love 5 kids like crazy. I adore my team at Proverbs31ministries. I wrote Made to Crave, Unglued, and a few others.
114. PsRobertMorris Robert Morris male Official Twitter for Robert Morris, Senior Pastor of @GatewayPeople, and the author of The Blessed Life and The Blessed Church. http://t.co/WsY79Qngh8
115. israelnewbreed israelnewbreed organization
116. caseytreat Casey Treat male Senior Pastor @CFCSeattle, husband, father, friend, & author. Romans 12:2 changed my life & can change yours too.
117. rick_bezet Rick Bezet male Husband to Michelle, Dad to Hunter/Hailee/Tanner/Grace! Pastor to New Life Church in AR! My dog hates me.
118. JenHatmaker JenHatmaker female Wife, mama of 5 (3 the old fashioned way…2 from Ethiopia), writer, speaker, foodie, Wii Just Dance Champion, gardener, hash tag abuser, Jesus girl.
119. JLin7 Jeremy Lin male to know Him is to want to know Him more
120. BillyGraham Billy Graham male Official Twitter page of Rev. Billy Graham. Account is run by @BGEA staff.
121. joechampion Joe Champion male Love Jesus, Love my family, Love my Church.
122. PastorSergio Sergio De La Mora male Pastor of the Cornerstone Church of San Diego, Father, Husband, Visionary, Author of The Heart Revolution.
123. realrobbell Rob Bell male
124. hillsonglive Hillsong LIVE organization The Official Hillsong LIVE Twitter. Our latest live album #GloriousRuins is now available! http://t.co/8M8uQwehgs
125. JoelOsteen Joel Osteen male Daily inspiration to help you live the life of victory and abundance that God intended for you. http://t.co/6apEukVPbT
126. _Matt_Carter Matt Carter male Lover of Jesus. Husband of an amazing woman. Father to 3 delightful children. Pastor of Preaching @ The Austin Stone. Author of The Real Win w/ Colt McCoy
127. MichaelHyatt Michael Hyatt male Author of the New York Times bestseller, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. Founder of http://t.co/UNZmxcFox9. Forbes Top 50 Social Media Influencer 2013
128. LeeStrobel Lee Strobel male Follower of Jesus. Husband, dad, grandfather. Author of 20+ books, including The Case for Christ & The Case for Faith. Professor at Houston Baptist University
129. bennyperez Benny Perez male Husband, Father, Lead Pastor of The Church LV. Join us for @DedicatedLV in Vegas June 25th-27th. Register at http://t.co/z89UxZQAkd
130. TroyGramling Troy Gramling male Husband, Father of 3, Lead #Pastor at @PotentialChurch.
131. Pontifex Pope Francis male Welcome to the official Twitter page of His Holiness Pope Francis
132. RealRomaDowney Roma Downey female Roma actress and producer of emmy nominated series The Bible seen by over 100 million people in USA and Son of God to be released Feb 28th 2014
133. bobbygwald Bobby Gruenewald male Pastor, Innovation Leader @ LifeChurch.tv. a founder @ http://t.co/QDlDdOyo. Passionate about my family, The Church, Leadership, Mobile Technology.
134. DarrenWhitehead Darren Whitehead male Husband to Brandy. Dad to Sydney, Scarlett & Violet. Aussie. Author of Rumors of God.
135. AnnVoskamp Ann Voskamp female Wife to the Farmer: Mama to 6 : Author of NYTimes Bestsellers: One Thousand Gifts … & … The Greatest Gift. Seeking to follow One alone.
136. IJM Intl Justice Mission organization Official International Justice Mission twitter securing rescue for victims of slavery & other violent forms of oppression. Tweeters: Austin/Tierney/Jaclyn
137. RevRunWisdom Rev Run male Words of wisdom non-stop.. Pls don’t be offended if I don’t reply or follow u, But I Love you!
138. DannyAkin Daniel Akin male
139. ahc Andy Crouch male Writer (Playing God, Culture Making) | Executive Editor (@CTmagazine) | Producer (@ct_city) | Dad
140. hillsong Hillsong Church organization Hillsong Church is all about loving God and people.
141. PastorChrisHill Chris Hill male Official Twitter for Pastor Chris Hill. Son, husband, father, friend, mentor, preacher & Senior Pastor of The Potter’s House Church of Denver.
142. JonAcuff Jon Acuff male New York Times Bestselling Author of Start/Speaker. Married to Jenny. Dad to L.E. and McRae.
143. ronniefloyd Ronnie Floyd male Senior Pastor of @CrossChurch, a multi campus faith family, the founder of @CCSchoolofMin. Passionate about preparing leaders for global Gospel advancement.
144. johnnymhunt Johnny Hunt male Pastor of FBC Woodstock since Dec. 1986. FORMER President of the Southern Baptist Convention
145. SheilaWalsh SheilaWalsh female Born in Scotland, now a US citizen, wife, mom of 1 boy and 3 pups. Overwhelmed by the fiery love and mercy of God, found it impossible to keep it to myself
146. Crossway Crossway organization Crossway is a not-for-profit publisher of Christian books, the ESV Bible, and gospel tracts. Tweets by @angelacheatham and @jameskinnard [at the time tweeted as @CrosswayBooks]
147. bilcornelius Bil Cornelius male Leader/founding pastor/speaker/author/entrepreneur I love Jesus, @jesicacornelius,my 3 kids, @bafchurch, & people.I could eat Mexican food 5 days a week.
148. 9MarksOnline 9Marks organization 9Marks exists to equip church leaders with a biblical vision and practical resources for displaying God’s glory to the nations through healthy churches.
149. RichWilkerson Rich Wilkerson male Pastor @TrinityMiami husband of 1 wife Robyn 4 sons 2 daughters 1 GrandDarling… Love God & Love Ppl
150. KerryShook Kerry Shook male Senior pastor of @WoodlandsChurch. Husband to the beautiful @ChristineShook. Dad to Ryan, Josh, Megan & Steven. NY Times Bestselling author.
151. gregsurratt Greg Surratt male Pastor – Seacoast Church
152. TommyTenney Tommy Tenney male Happy husband to the ever amazing @JeannieTenney • Father to 3 delightful daughters • Blessed with 4 grandchildren • Son of @TFTenney • Christ follower • Cajun
153. scotmcknight scotmcknight  male Professor @nseminary
154. DrHenryCloud Dr. Henry Cloud male Psychologist, Author, and Leadership Consultant. http://t.co/haDxnxImhX
155. mattfry Matt Fry male Lead Pastor C3 Church http://t.co/Pr8QOnjHgq ARC Lead Team http://t.co/wtA6HwBOFi
156. pastoremase Eric Mason male Jesus follower, Husband of @ImmNehe, Father, Pastor @epiphfellowship Author of #ManhoodRestored
157. bibleseries The Bible’ Series organization The Bible’ is an epic journey from Genesis through Revelation produced by Roma Downey & Mark Burnett. Emmy nominated & seen by 100 million people & counting!
158. tommybarnett Tommy Barnett male Senior Pastor, Phoenix First Assembly in Phoenix (http://t.co/jUYIccxdTd), Arizona; co-founder of the LA Dream Center and NY Dream Center
159. ericmetaxas Eric Metaxas male is the author of BONHOEFFER: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy and AMAZING GRACE: William Wilberforce & the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery.
160. FirstLadyJakes Serita Jakes female Official Twitter for First Lady Serita Jakes
161. erwinmcmanus Erwin McManus male traveling the universe with my band of outsiders in search of beauty, wonder, and a good story.
162. johnortberg John Ortberg male Author Speaker Pastor
163. Fred_Buechner Frederick Buechner male Christian theologian and author of 36 books, including fiction, autobiography, essays, sermons, quotes, and other nonfiction.
164. hillsongNYC Hillsong NYC organization The best way to stay in touch with what’s happening in Hillsong NYC! Also, check out – http://t.co/3WbMj7pyX8 and http://t.co/X7ytKmHdiE
165. jrvassar JR Vassar male Christ follower, Husband, Father, Pastor.
166. ANNELAMOTT ANNE LAMOTT female Author – Bird by Bird, Traveling Mercies, Some Assembly Required, Help Thanks Wow. Mom, Nana, activist; elder at St. Andrew Prez–services at 11:00.
167. RedeemerNYC Redeemer Pres NYC organization
168. RichStearns Rich Stearns male President of World Vision USA, and author of The Hole in Our Gospel and Unfinished: Believing Is Only the Beginning (April, 2013)
169. ihoughton Israel Houghton male Husband, Father,Friend of God
170. LarryOsborne Larry Osborne male Pastor, Author – North Coast Church, Vista CA Blog:http://t.co/cybdjDrxo6
171. PastorChrisSeay Chris Seay male Pastor of Ecclesia Houston, President of Ecclesia Bible Society/Translator of The Voice ( a beautiful and faithful translation of scriptures), Husband and Dad
172. charitywater charity: water organization We’re an NYC-based charity working in 20 developing countries around the world, bringing clean water to people in need.
173. Michael_Card Michael Card male Christian Author, Singer/ Songwriter. Written 23 books and 30 albums Well known and loved through songs like El Shaddai, Immanuel and Come Lift Up Your Sorrows
174. CharlesJenkins7 Charles Jenkins male I laugh I serve I create I give
175. dancathy Dan T. Cathy male CEO and President of Chick-fil-A, but I like to say I’m in Customer Service
176. kimwalkersmith Kim Walker-Smith female I love Jesus, Skyler (my knight-in-shining-armor), Wyatt (my wildly handsome son), Duke & Stella (my cuddly dogs), and chocolate. In that order.
177. RELEVANT RELEVANT Magazine organization The leading magazine on faith, culture & intentional living. Covering what’s relevant to your life—in print, iPad & daily online. (Founded by @CameronStrang.)
178. tonymorganlive Tony Morgan male I help leaders and organizations get unstuck.
179. therealtobymac TobyMac male I got my eye on it!!
180. Clayton_king Clayton King male Founder & President of Crossroads Ministries, Teaching Pastor @ Newspring Church, Campus Pastor @ Liberty University, Author for Lifeway & Baker Pub
181. JeanneMayo Jeanne Mayo female Wife + Mom + Nana + Coach + Author + Speaker + Cadre + Atlanta Leadership College + 212 Director = Love to Meet You!! #follow #StuMin @YLCoach
182. jaredcwilson jaredcwilson male Husband, father, pastor, author. My latest book STORYTELLING GOD available now from Crossway.
183. JonTyson Jon Tyson male Trinity Grace Church : City Collective : City Renewal. Planting in Midtown Manhattan. Pursuing the way of Jesus : Joining God in the renewal of all things.
184. brandonheath Brandon Heath male Don’t miss Brandon on #HitsDeepTour and check out his album Blue Mountain on iTunes http://t.co/WnmvSIeP3E
185. jamiemunson Jamie Munson male CoPresident of @Storyville Coffee, Writer at http://t.co/IDic6PFedy, Author of 2 Books – Authority and Money
186. BurkParsons Burk Parsons male I’m not my own but belong to Jesus Christ whom I trust, follow, and preach as an ordinary pastor, dad, and husband making disciples of nations for God’s glory.
187. philwickham Phil Wickham male The Ascension now available on iTunes! http://t.co/fMqmAHW5bS
188. HenriNouwen Henri Nouwen quotes Henri Nouwen – author, theologian, mentor, pastor, activist, Dutch priest, and above all – beloved.
189. MikeFoster Mike Foster male Lover of imperfectionists. Founder of @POTSC. Author of Freeway: A Not-So-Perfect Guide To Freedom. I believe in love, God and you.
190. cameronstrang Cameron Strang male Founder of @RELEVANT, daddy of Cohen, follower of Jesus, publisher, podcaster, fan of the Magic & Gators. But not in that order.
191. bloodwater Blood:Water organization Partnering with Africa to end the HIV/AIDS & water crises
192. jonforeman Jon Foreman male I play music in bands called switchfoot, and fiction family. I am grateful to be alive.
193. JonathanMerritt Jonathan Merritt male Senior Columnist, Religion News Service @RNS; Author of A Faith of Our Own (2012) and Jesus is Better Than You Imagined (2014)
194. loswhit Carlos Whittaker male Author of Moment Maker :: Hater of Meatloaf :: Lover of Familia
195. DanKimball Dan Kimball male on staff at Vintage Faith Church, author of They Like Jesus But Not The Church
196. stevekmccoy Steve K. McCoy male I’ve heard and I believe. I study and I preach. I imagine and I create. I am loved and I love.
197. challies challies male Owner and proprietor of http://t.co/UVIRyi9y.
198. lovedoes Love Does organization
199. williebosshog Willie Robertson male President of Duck and Buck Commander. Personality on both, Duck Dynasty and Buck Commander Protected by Under Armour.
200. coltondixon Colton Dixon male love God. love music. love people

Via MIT Technology Review.

The Bible on Twitter in 2014

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

Bible Gateway recently shared their most-popular Bible verses of 2014, and I wanted to discuss this chart a little more:

Popular Bible verses by day in 2014 on Bible Gateway

The chart stems from the idea that if someone is equally likely to see a verse on any day of the year, each day should have 1/365, or 0.27%, of a verse’s yearly popularity. This chart shows days when there’s a spike in pageviews for each verse for a particular day (whenever it was over 0.4% of the annual total).

The theme of the chart is that people follow certain paths through the Bible during the year; I labeled a few of them on the chart. But there are definitely a few patterns I can’t explain:

  1. At the beginning of the year, two lines emanate from Genesis that look like they’re on track to read the full Bible in a year, but one of them is faster than the other. Why are there two?
  2. At the bottom right of the chart is a shallow line that looks like it involves reading Genesis and Exodus starting in May and ending in December. There’s a similar line in the New Testament running through Matthew from June to November. What are those?

I was curious whether the same patterns would appear in Twitter for the year, so I ran a similar analysis on the 43 million tweets this year that mentioned Bible verses. The answer is that, yes, you can see many of the same paths in both charts:

Popular Bible verses by day in 2014 on Twitter

They even include the same two (or three or four) fast readings of the Bible at the beginning of the year and the slow reading of Genesis and Exodus in the second half of the year. You can see similar peaks around the Passion stories leading to Easter and the Nativity story leading to Christmas. (Christmas is the last day that appears on this chart.) The Twitter chart more clearly shows the weekly rhythms of the devotional life, with vertical lines just barely visible every Sunday. The main difference is that there’s not as clear a path through the New Testament.

The Twitter chart also shows some horizontal bands where sharing is pretty light. These “sharing shadows” appear in the opening chapters of Numbers, 1 Kings, and 1 Chronicles.

Prolific Verse Sharers

A quirk of the Twitter chart is that some Twitterers tweet (and are retweeted) a lot. I suspect many of them are bots, but it’s hard to say whether they constitute “Bible spam”–many people do appear to find them helpful by retweeting them. The top fifty or so Twitterers are responsible for 16 million of the 43 million tweets this year. The chart doesn’t look too different if you remove them (mostly, the frequent repetition of Matthew disappears), but that just could be because I didn’t remove enough users to affect the results meaningfully. For all I know, this chart mostly just shows how Twitter bots share the Bible during the year. The consistency with the Bible Gateway data (in which I have more confidence), however, leads me to think that this picture is reasonably accurate.

Here are the top non-bot (as far as I can tell) sharers of Bible verses–these people tweeted the most Bible verses (and, more importantly, were retweeted most) throughout the year. Some of these people I recognize, and others… not so much. The “tweet” numbers reflect only tweets containing Bible verses and include others’ retweets of their tweets.

  1. JohnPiper (105,836 tweets)
  2. DangeRussWilson (87,382 tweets)
  3. WeLiftYourName (52,638 tweets)
  4. JosephPrince (50,889 tweets)
  5. BishopJakes (49,109 tweets)
  6. siwon407 (48,994 tweets)
  7. RickWarren (42,637 tweets)
  8. JoyceMeyer (39,703 tweets)
  9. jeremycamp (32,003 tweets)
  10. DaveRamsey (28,173 tweets)
  11. RCCGworldwide (26,731 tweets)
  12. AdamCappa (25,976 tweets)
  13. Creflo_Dollar (24,422 tweets)
  14. sadierob (20,068 tweets)
  15. Carson_Case (19,846 tweets)
  16. TimTebow (18,303 tweets)
  17. Kevinwoo91 (17,230 tweets)
  18. levimitchell (16,355 tweets)
  19. jesse_duplantis (15,755 tweets)
  20. kutless (14,806 tweets)

Most-Popular Verses

Here are the most-popular verses shared on Twitter in 2014:

  1. Phil 4:13 (613,161 tweets)
  2. 1Pet 5:7 (261,417 tweets)
  3. Prov 3:5 (218,019 tweets)
  4. John 14:6 (212,883 tweets)
  5. John 13:7 (207,084 tweets)
  6. 1Cor 13:4 (197,379 tweets)
  7. Matt 28:20 (187,407 tweets)
  8. Ps 118:24 (183,475 tweets)
  9. 2Tim 1:7 (182,758 tweets)
  10. Ps 56:3 (180,139 tweets)

You can also download a text file (411 KB) with the complete list of 2014’s popular verses.

John 13:7 (“Jesus replied, ‘You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.'”) is the oddball here, but it turns out that it’s mostly from over 100,000 retweets of a single tweet in April. (Since it was a one-off, I omitted him from the list of top sharers above, although his tweet count of 163,497 would put him in first place.)

How do the year’s most-popular verses compare among Bible Gateway, YouVersion, and Twitter? The answer: there’s a good deal of variation. Below are the top ten from each service; only Proverbs 3:5 appears in all three lists, and YouVersion and Twitter only have one verse that overlaps, which surprises me (given that they’re both based on sharing).

If we look only at Bible Gateway and Twitter, the average verse differs in its ranking by about 3,000 places, or nearly 10% of the Bible. The largest differences in rank: 1 Kings 20:14 is much more popular on Twitter (rank 4,380) than on Bible Gateway (rank 27,119), while Ezra 5:14 is way more popular on Bible Gateway (rank 13,995) than Twitter (rank 30,018).

Ranking Bible Gateway YouVersion Twitter
1. John 3:16 Rom 12:2 Phil 4:13
2. Jer 29:11 Phil 4:8 1Pet 5:7
3. Phil 4:13 Phil 4:6 Prov 3:5
4. Rom 8:28 Jer 29:11 John 14:6
5. Ps 23:4 Matt 6:33 John 13:7
6. Phil 4:6 Phil 4:7 1Cor 13:4
7. 1Cor 13:4 Prov 3:5 Matt 28:20
8. Prov 3:5 Isa 41:10 Ps 118:24
9. 1Cor 13:7 Matt 6:34 2Tim 1:7
10. Rom 12:2 Prov 3:6 Ps 56:7

Bold entries appear in at least two lists.

Data Source

The Twitter data is from Bible Verses on Twitter. A program connects to the Twitter Streaming API with a query for every chapter of the Bible (“Gen 1″, “Genesis 1″, and so on). I run a Bible reference parser on the tweet to pull out all the references. Then an SVM algorithm tries to guess whether the tweet is actually talking about a Bible verse or just happens to contain a string that looks like a Bible reference (“Gen 1 XBox for sale,” where “Gen” is short for “Generation”).

Sidenote: How I Calculate Verse Views

A note on methodology: I’ve never documented how I determine a particular verse’s popularity; now’s a good time, because you can do it a number of ways to reach different answers. Let’s say that someone is looking at Genesis 1, which has 31 verses. That counts as one pageview, but if you’re looking for the number of pageviews that, say, Genesis 1:1 receives, how do attribute a chapter-length view like this? You could give each verse credit for a full pageview, but then verses in long chapters will appear to have a disproportionately high number of pageviews. Instead, I prefer to divide the pageview into the number of verses in the passage: in this case, each verse in Genesis 1 will receive 1/31, or 0.032 pageviews.

Now, what if someone is looking at, say, Genesis 1:1 and Matthew 1 (25 verses) on the same page? In this case, I divide the pageview by the number of separate passages: Genesis 1:1 receives credit for a full 0.5 pageviews, as does Matthew 1. Each verse in Matthew 1 therefore receives 0.5/25, or 0.02 pageviews.

I feel that this approach best respects people’s intentions whether they want to look at multiple verses, several independent passages, or just individual verses.

What Twitterers Are Giving up for Lent (2014 Edition)

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

The top 100 things that people on Twitter are giving up for Lent in 2014.

This year, “School” topped the list of things Twitterers are giving up for Lent, up 44 places from last year. Remaining in the top ten from last year are Swearing, Alcohol, Soda, Social Networking, and Fast Food. Chocolate, Twitter, Sweets, and Lent round out the new additions to the top ten.

I don’t have a great explanation for why School is #1 this year–it could be that Ash Wednesday is later this year, so spring break is closer (for some it even starts today). It’s also possible that Twitter’s audience is skewing younger than it used to, or that younger Twitter users are more likely to tweet about Lent.

Timely topics this year are Boosie, referring to rapper Lil Boosie, who was released from prison this week (people joked that the prison was giving him up for Lent); and Electricity, referring to a widespread power outage in South Africa.

This list draws from 646,000 tweets during March 2 to 8 that mention giving up something for Lent and excludes retweets.

Rank Word Count Change from last year’s rank
1. School 11,757 +44
2. Chocolate 9,515 +15
3. Twitter 8,642 +8
4. Swearing 7,132 -2
5. Alcohol 6,325 0
6. Soda 5,446 -3
7. Social networking 4,197 -3
8. Sweets 4,188 +8
9. Fast food 4,088 0
10. Lent 2,842 +118
11. Meat 2,790 +26
12. Homework 2,760 +61
13. Junk food 2,723 +8
14. Coffee 2,678 +123
15. Sex 2,392 +112
16. Chips 2,129 -10
17. Bread 2,020 +114
18. You 2,016 +21
19. Facebook 1,926 0
20. Pizza 1,628 +122
21. Starbucks 1,566 +120
22. Candy 1,412 +87
23. Instagram 1,212 -13
24. Religion 1,147 +104
25. Virginity 1,143 -18
26. Cookies 1,053 -14
27. Work 1,031 +4
28. Ice cream 1,025 +27
29. Boys 1,021 +99
30. Marijuana 1,018 -22
31. Smoking 994 -9
32. Beer 939 +104
33. Life 933 -8
34. Food 930 +27
35. McDonalds 926 +20
36. Winter 853  
37. Netflix 851 -7
38. College 819 +16
39. My phone 777 +6
40. Shopping 748 +103
41. Stuff 733 +100
42. Selfies 731 +1
43. Chipotle 726 +100
44. Masturbation 725 -30
45. Sugar 682 +82
46. Cheese 670 +94
47. Me 656 +87
48. Sobriety 655 -17
49. Wine 652 +94
50. Carbs 648 +81
51. Boosie 581  
52. Fried food 574 -23
53. Caffeine 563 +70
54. Rice 562 +86
55. Catholicism 561 -28
56. Snapchat 543 +11
57. Coke 541 -22
58. Procrastination 517 -18
59. People 516 +54
60. Snow 506  
61. Desserts 486 -37
62. Fizzy drinks 480 +81
63. French fries 475 -29
64. Takeout 464 -49
65. Obama 452 +74
66. Makeup 451 -25
67. Taco Bell 434 +39
68. Feelings 434 -32
68. Porn 430  
69. Nothing 427 +74
70. My swag 420 -47
71. Negativity 417 +28
72. Red meat 396 +59
73. Diet Coke 390 +69
74. Sarcasm 380  
75. Breathing 369  
76. Caring 357 +66
77. Complaining 354  
78. Tea 352 +64
79. Pancakes 340 +63
80. Peanut butter 336  
81. Sweet tea 335  
82. Booze 325 +61
83. Sleep 320 +33
84. Hope 316 +46
85. Cake 313 -13
86. Pasta 303 +57
87. TV 302 +30
88. Texting 297 +52
89. Eating out 275 -29
90. Exercise 274 -47
91. Pants 270 +5
92. Electricity 268 +41
93. The gym 258 +16
94. Liquor 245  
95. Church 243 -46
96. Tinder 237 +35
97. Tumblr 236 +46
98. Math 236 +20
98. Juice 232 +35
99. Being mean 230  
100. Chick Fil A 228 -38

Categories

Rank Category Number of Tweets
1. food 62,453
2. school/work 18,148
3. technology 17,615
4. habits 16,616
5. smoking/drugs/alcohol 12,665
6. irony 7,319
7. relationship 6,563
8. sex 5,483
9. health/hygiene 3,476
10. religion 2,784
11. generic 2,504
12. entertainment 1,959
13. weather 1,496
14. shopping 1,183
15. celebrity 961
16. sports 780
17. politics 547
18. clothes 540
19. money 492
20. habit 393
21. possessions 217
22. clothing 62

Historical Trends

This year I added a new Historical Lent Tracker that you can use to investigate Lenten trends on your own over the past six years.

Here are some of my favorite graphs:

Second-Wave Social Media

Tumblr peaked in 2011, and WhatsApp, which Facebook recently paid $19 billion for, doesn’t register highly.

Instagram is highest, followed by Snapchat, Tumblr, Tinder, and Whatsapp

Fast Food Restaurants

Chipotle is much higher on the list than I expected–is that because people love it or because they hate it?

McDonald's is highest, followed by Chipotle, Taco Bell, Chick-Fil-A, Dunkin Donuts, Whataburger, KFC, and Subway.

One Direction vs. Justin Bieber

One Direction has been outpacing Justin Bieber since 2012.

Snack Foods

Congratulations, Hot Cheetos, on being the snack the most people want to give up.

Hot Cheetos is highest, followed by popcorn, Doritos, potato chips, and Cheetos.

Media Coverage

The Lent Tracker got some media attention this year. In roughly chronological order:

Finally, this Wall Street Journal article doesn’t talk about the Lent tracker, but it discusses the fraught phenomenon of Ash Wednesday selfies: Selfies Bring Ashtags to Lent. (This article may or may not be behind a paywall for you.)

Track What People Are Giving Up in 2014 for Lent in Real Time

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

See the top 100 things people are giving up in 2014 for Lent on Twitter, continually updated until March 7, 2014.

As I write this post, with about 5,000 tweets analyzed, the new hot topics so far this year are: “Netflix,” “Flappy Bird,” and “Getting an Oscar.” “Social Networking” is currently way out in front, with twice as many tweets as perennial favorites “Swearing” and “Alcohol.” (Last year, Social Networking came in at #4.)

Look for the usual post-mortem on March 8, 2014.

What Twitterers Are Giving up for Lent (2013 Edition)

Saturday, February 16th, 2013

The top 100 things that people on Twitter are giving up for Lent in 2013.

This year saw a lot of churn in the top 100 things people were giving up for Lent.

The pope announced his resignation on Monday, leading many to say that he was giving up “being pope” for Lent. It came in at #1. (Related, at #18, people said they were giving up “the pope” for Lent.)

Specific social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook generally dropped this year, with the generic term “social networking” (#4) taking over as a catchall. Instagram (#10), Pinterest (#52), and Snapchat (#78) were all new to the top 100.

With Valentine’s Day falling on the day after Ash Wednesday this year, it came in at #13. My wife suggests that the timing may also have contributed to the drop in “chocolate” from #2 last year to #17 this year. “Valentines” is #97.

“Horse meat” (#20) refers to the ongoing European scandal.

The only celebrity to make the list was British boy band One Direction, up substantially at #41.

I learned several new words this year: “twerking” (#34), a type of dance move, “selfies” (#46), or self-shot photos taken with a phone, “subtweeting” (#57), or tweeting about someone without mentioning them by name, “oomf” (#71), or “one of my [Twitter] followers,” and “Nando’s” (#76), a chicken restaurant.

This list draws from 263,000 tweets from February 10-15, 2013, and excludes most retweets.

Rank Word Count Change from last year’s rank
1. Being pope 5,654  
2. Swearing 4,944 +1
3. Soda 2,648 +2
4. Social networking 2,264 +19
5. Alcohol 2,217 -1
6. Chips 1,690 +8
7. Virginity 933 +23
8. Marijuana 784 +17
9. Fast food 776 -2
10. Instagram 755 +270
11. Twitter 672 -10
12. Cookies 643 +19
13. Valentine’s day 514  
14. Masturbation 510 +18
15. Takeout 465 +59
16. Sweets 444 -7
17. Chocolate 417 -15
18. The pope 394 +10,224
19. Facebook 380 -13
20. Horse meat 375  
21. Junk food 362 -8
22. Smoking 355 -3
23. My swag 331 +373
24. Desserts 325 +21
25. Life 325 +40
26. New year’s resolutions 313 +47
27. My boyfriend 309 +99
28. Catholicism 255 +11
29. Straightening my hair 228 +89
30. Fried food 225 +5
31. Netflix 216 +255
32. Work 216 -5
33. Sobriety 213 +4
34. Twerking 185 +698
35. The playoffs 184 +3,556
36. French fries 173 +19
37. Coke 168 +1
38. Feelings 168 +207
39. Laziness 160 +28
40. Meat 158 -30
41. Onedirection 155 +103
42. You 154 -24
43. Procrastination 153 +1
44. Makeup 150 +16
45. Internet 149 +61
46. Selfies 149 +2,328
47. Exercise 144 +58
48. School 141 -36
49. My phone 135 +15
50. Classes 129 +84
51. Dip 127 +132
52. Pinterest 125 +133
53. Church 124 +33
54. Emotions 122 +397
55. Going to school 119 +163
56. My girlfriend 111 +207
57. Subtweeting 110 +253
58. College 106 +5
59. My face 106 +4,168
60. Ice cream 106 -27
61. McDonald’s 102 -32
62. Being ugly 101 +256
63. Snacking 99 +19
64. Spending 96 +89
65. Dunkin Donuts 96 +475
66. Chew 95 +418
67. Eating out 94 +28
68. Elevators 94 +99
69. Food 93 -47
70. Moaning 93 +123
71. Oomf 93 +78
72. Chick Fil A 90 +135
73. Healthy food 88 +180
74. Football 87 +145
75. Swimming 87 +200
76. Nando’s 86 +72
77. DVDs 84 +1,326
78. Snapchat 84  
79. Broccoli 83 +206
80. Ranch 81 +250
81. The snooze button 80 +176
82. Crystal meth 80 +219
83. Dignity 79 +116
84. Cake 77 -13
85. Unhealthy food 77 +34
86. Homework 76 -65
87. Busyness 75  
88. Schoolwork 74 +88
89. Chemistry 74 +34,949
90. Frozen yogurt 72 +480
91. iPhone 72 +100
92. FIFA 71 +143
93. Betting 70 +315
94. Doing homework 69 +158
95. Myself 68 +267
96. Supermarkets 67 +1,797
97. Valentines 66  
98. Domino’s 63 +323
99. Being negative 63 +212
100. Hookah 63 +340

Categories

Rank Category Number of Tweets
1. food 11,642
2. habits 8,083
3. religion 6,519
4. technology 4,782
5. smoking/drugs/alcohol 3,928
6. sex 1,771
7. relationship 1,399
8. health/hygiene 1,270
9. school work 1,095
10. irony 792
11. sports 648
12. entertainment 392
13. celebrity 246
14. clothes 235
15. money 133
16. shopping 111

The image is a Wordle.

Track What People Are Giving Up in 2013 for Lent in Real Time

Monday, February 11th, 2013

See the top 100 things people are giving up in 2013 for Lent on Twitter, continually updated until February 15, 2013.

As I write this post, with about 5,000 tweets analyzed, the new hot topics so far this year are: meowing, Valentine’s Day, and Snapchat.

Look for the usual post-mortem on February 16, 2013.

What Twitterers Are Giving up for Lent (2012 Edition)

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

The top 100 things that people on Twitter are giving up for Lent in 2012.

This year, Twitter continues to take top honors. Facebook drops a few places compared to last year–has it become less-central to people’s lives? This year’s hot new site, Pinterest, almost makes the list, showing up at #118. (Incidentally, Pinterest has a number of Lent-related boards.)

Chocolate comes in at #2–however, if you add up all the mentions of chocolate in its various forms (“chocs,” “chocolate chips,” etc.), it totals over 14,000 mentions, enough to put it at #1.

This year’s biggest gainers are “breathing” and “makeup,” both of which jumped up more than 30 places in the list.

No celebrities make the top 100 this year. Boy band One Direction (aka #1D) is at #144, followed by Justin Bieber at #194 and Tim Tebow at #221. Last year’s curiosity, Charlie Sheen, only got two mentions; he dropped to #10,000 or so.

Overall, food was by far the most popular thing given up.

This list draws from about 300,000 tweets from February 19-25, 2012, and excludes retweets.

Rank Word Count Change from last year’s rank
1. Twitter 13,937 0
2. Chocolate 13,001 +1
3. Swearing 11,737 +1
4. Alcohol 9,998 +1
5. Soda 9,942 +2
6. Facebook 9,025 -4
7. Fast food 6,529 +3
8. Sex 6,146 -2
9. Sweets 4,973 +2
10. Meat 4,444 -1
11. Lent 4,171 -3
12. School 3,976 +1
13. Junk food 3,388 +6
14. Chips 3,150 +4
15. Coffee 2,263 0
16. Candy 2,217 +6
17. Bread 2,124 +3
18. You 2,056 -2
19. Smoking 2,002 +2
20. Giving up things 2,001 -8
21. Homework 1,908 +11
22. Food 1,800 +5
23. Social networking 1,754 -6
24. Religion 1,701 -10
25. Marijuana 1,594 +4
26. Beer 1,359 +4
27. Work 1,331 -3
28. Stuff 1,302 -3
29. McDonald’s 1,249 +21
30. Virginity 1,152 +7
31. Cookies 1,137 +3
32. Masturbation 1,134 +4
33. Ice cream 1,113 +15
34. Shopping 1,068 -6
35. Fried food 993 -4
36. Boys 956 +6
37. Sobriety 910 +7
38. Coke 899 +3
39. Catholicism 881 -13
40. Cheese 858 -7
41. Nothing 831 +5
42. Carbs 818 +16
43. Red meat 758 -8
44. Procrastination 738 +1
45. Desserts 733 +26
46. Pizza 714 +15
47. Pancakes 650 -9
48. Sugar 645 -5
49. Rice 633 -10
50. Breathing 631 +34
51. Me 628 +12
52. Texting 627 +3
53. Starbucks 623 +1
54. Fizzy drinks 595 +12
55. French fries 593 +7
56. Diet Coke 572 +21
57. Porn 562 +10
58. Tumblr 548 +12
59. Wine 546 -7
60. Makeup 539 +31
61. Liquor 534 -5
62. Booze 530 -22
63. College 524 +18
64. My phone 508 +30
65. Life 486  
66. Caffeine 466 -17
67. Laziness 453 +11
68. Chipotle 452 +30
69. Tea 445 +6
70. Chicken 442 +2
71. Cake 440 +3
72. Sarcasm 429 +4
73. New Year’s resolutions 422 +15
74. Takeout 417 +11
75. Men 412 -10
76. Pork 394 -3
77. Christianity 388 -18
78. Sleep 386 +1
79. People 384 +8
80. Caring 377  
81. Juice 357 +11
82. Snacking 345  
83. Lying 333  
84. TV 332 -31
85. Complaining 331 -2
86. Church 328 -35
87. Him 327 +2
88. Sweet tea 326  
89. Lint 326 -21
90. Vegetables 324  
91. Talking 323  
92. Bacon 321  
93. Being mean 320  
94. Pasta 316  
95. Eating out 316 +5
96. Negativity 314 -39
97. Eating 298  
98. Biting my nails 294  
99. Nutella 291  
100. Being nice 258  

Categories

Rank Category Number of Tweets
1. food 79,977
2. habits 21,836
3. technology 19,190
4. smoking/drugs/alcohol 19,073
5. health/hygiene 11,101
6. sex 9,948
7. irony 9,352
8. school/work 8,567
9. relationship 6,919
10. religion 4,157
11. generic 2,841
12. shopping 1,491
13. entertainment 1,344
14. money 526
15. sports 512
16. celebrity 461
17. possessions 376
18. clothes 111
19. politics 105

The image is a Wordle.