Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Is Alvin Greene more influential than Nikki Haley?

You be the judge

Posted by Corey Hutchins on Tue, Mar 18, 2014 at 12:04 PM

click to enlarge Greene - SEAN RAYFORD FILE PHOTO
  • Sean Rayford file photo
  • Greene

South Carolina's favorite accidental candidate, Alvin Greene, might be more influential than Gov. Nikki Haley, according to a fun, new interactive feature on Time magazine's website.

The Great Influence-Off lets you pit two colleges or universities against each other to see which one is more influential.

Kara Apel, a web producer at WSMV in Nashville, Tennessee, and a University of South Carolina alum, flagged on Twitter what happens when you put USC and Clemson University in a face off over influence:

As Thad Moore, editor of USC's student newspaper The Gamecock, pointed out on Twitter, USC alumni Alvin Greene carries more influence than Clemson grad Haley.

Chris Wilson of Time, who handled data for the project, cautions against reading too much into the rankings of any two people since large data projects like this work best in the aggregate. Time used Wikipedia data to asses the prominence of school alumni, and Wilson said there will be plenty of outliers.

Here are the raw stats for Greene and Haley and how the Time project gauged their influence:

Nikki Haley: 2,037 words, 267 wikilinks, 85 external links, 18 categories
Alvin Greene: 3,322 words, 140 wikilinks, 106 external links, 10 categories

The algorithm Time used to rank people reduces those four factors to standard deviations and then weights those values according to a statistical method that combines them into a single dimension, known as principal component analysis.

“So what we're seeing here is that Alvin Greene does in fact have a more thorough Wikipedia page than Gov. Haley in some respects,” Wilson says.

Only in South Carolina.

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