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Top Food Media Influencers in Edmonton via Little Bird

I love that Sherwood Park, a bedroom community about 15 minutes east of Edmonton, will go down in history as the birthplace of the #YEGfoodhuddle movement. There's not much to speak of restaurant-wise in Sherwood Park, and it makes for great storytelling when something unlikely happens in the most unlikely of locations. No?

What's YEGFood Huddle? It's hard to say at this point, only that Edmonton has a number of passionate people--chefs, producers, food writers/bloggers, and other invested parties-- who feel that we need to talk about the city's "food image problem," and that we need more communication amongst ourselves so that we can better represent ourselves to the wider world.

Basically, we need to crow about our strengths (because we know no one else will) and we need to work on our weaknesses.

This all happened rather recently. There were tensions and frustration over best restaurant lists: what lists Edmonton restaurants made, those lists we didn't make; what restaurants made the lists, those ones that didn't. A few of us were going back and forth over this on Facebook. There was an obvious need to give voice to concerns and air out some issues. A few of us made the crazy suggestion that we could find some common ground and perhaps create something positive and constructive out of this energy. Within a couple of days, a Facebook group page was set up and opened to anyone in the Edmonton food community, as a forum for discussions and ideas. It's only a week old and there are 117 members.

The group also felt the need for a good old-fashined meeting. On Dec 22, fourteen of us met around the boardroom table of Ahlstrom Wright Oliver & Cooper, a Sherwood Park law firm. Steve Cooper ably guided the discussion. We arrived at a list of topics that were important to the group and a number of action items. I had never met many of the people seated around the table in person. I knew them only through Facebook and Twitter.

One of the reasons I was keen to participate in YEGFood Huddle is to get to know more of my fellow food writers/bloggers/social media counterparts. I was curious to know our capacity here in the city. I  volunteered to get going on a list of who's who, as a fact-finding mission.

Others have volunteered to move other agenda items forward, but here's a first step towards getting two know who’s out there in our YEGfood communicator community.

In a shameless imitation of Jay Palter's  “Edmonton’s top social media influencers” post of December 18, 2015, I contacted Little Bird, a Portland-OR based company that uses math and computers to identify and spit out reports of social media influencers. They offered me a 6-day free trial of their software.

I created reports based on three sets of keywords as well as a dozen or so examples of the social media accounts of people I knew were active in Edmonton's food scene. Here’s what Little Bird told me:

Screen Shot of Dec 22, 2015 Social Media Influencers report using key words "Edmonton Food"

First report: Edmonton Food

When you trawl the Internet for chatter and chatterers based on “Edmonton Food,” 785 “insiders” are identified. 548 insiders tweet from Edmonton. Actually, it’s higher because (Internet gremlins one can only assume) Little Bird identifies a number of Edmonton-based business as “influencing” from the Maritimes. Ha.

Good news: We have a good amount of critical mass talking about us in Edmonton. Bad news: Only Edmontonians are talking about Edmonton Food at this point.

Screen Shot of Report EmailThe report also generates a ranked list of social media influencers or "Insiders Most Followed by Fellow Topic Insiders." I managed to capture the reports via copy-and-paste techniques, so if anyone wants the ranking of the first few hundred, I’ll happily share. However, here's  a screen shot of our top influencers by the Edmonton Food topic.

Screen shot of "Insiders Most Followed by Fellow Topic Insiders" from "Edmonton Food" report on Little Bird, Dec 22, 2015

Top 25 Social Media Insiders followed by fellow topic insiders are:

Liane Faulder (Insiders ranking: 513) @EatMyWordsBlog food writer for the Edmonton Journal

City Market Downtown (498) @CityMarket104

YEG Food Guide (492) @YEGFoodGuide

Drift Food Truck (491) @driftfoodtruck

Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market (465) @OldStrathconaFMarket

The Tomato / Mary Bailey (462) @tomatofoodanddrink

Duchess Bake Shop (456) @duchessbakeshop

YEG Foodie (440) @YEGFoodie

Acme Meat Market (426) @acmemeatmarket

Taste of Edmonton (416) @TasteofEdm

Tres Carnales (412) @TresCarnales

Slow Food Edmonton (412) @Slowfoodyeg

Where Edmonton (400) @whereedmonton

Linda Hoang (399) @lindork

Elm Café (393) @elmcafe

Phil Wilson (398) @baconhound

Corso32 restaurant (386) @Corso32

Irvings Farm Fresh (386) @IrvingsFarm

What the Truck?! YEG @whatthetruckyeg

Liv S. Vors (380) @thepolishviking

Krista Franke / 124 Street Market (380) @124GrandMarket

Dishcrawl Edmonton (370) @dishcrawlyeg

Teresa Spinelli (369) @TeresaSpinelli

Twyla Campbell (364) @wanderwoman10

(For the record, I found my account on page 6 of the report...with an insider ranking of 216.)


Second Report: Edmonton Restaurants

Screen Shot "Edmonton Restaurants" report email, via Little Bird, Dec 22, 2015 Way fewer insiders found—only 177 insiders.

I don’t know what this means, but it could mean that we talk WAY more about Edmonton food than we do about our restaurants. However, my guess is that our propensity towards using the #YEGfood hashtag makes us “lazy” in putting “restaurant(s)” in our tweets or posts?? No idea.



Third Report: YEGfood #YEGfood

Screen Shot from YEGfood #YEGfood report email, Dec 22, 2015, via Little BirdMuch the same as the first report: 764 insiders found

I consider this to just be an initial foray into identifying who’s out there in our Edmonton food blogging/Tweeting/Instagramming/Facebooking community, which I will now refer to as our YEGfoodcomm.

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