Mike Isaac

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The Buzziest Social Network, According to Hip-Hop

In business and in hip-hop, your reputation is all you have.

And, right now, Twitter’s rep is booming (in the rap world, at least).

This according to RapStats, the latest little experiment to come out of the gang over at RapGenius, a lyrics-deconstruction startup backed by Andreessen Horowitz.

The new tool is clever — something of an Excel spreadsheet graph function for the hip-hop lyrics corpus. Punch in a few terms, and RapStats will spit back a graph comparing the frequency of those words appearing in hip-hop songs from as far back as 1988 and up to the present day.


According to RapStats, Twitter is in the lead at the moment, with the most mentions compared to other social networks — with not Facebook, but Instagram, trailing in second place. Facebook instead comes in at third, with Tumblr, Myspace and the relatively recent Snapchat rounding out fourth, fifth and sixth places.

It’s a cute idea, and perhaps even helpful for linguists or scholars studying the rise of certain words or phrases through the hip-hop lens.

One caveat: While RapStats reports frequency, the new tool doesn’t come with an understanding of sentiment. So keep that in mind when judging Twitter’s true rep.

(Props to Michael S. Galpert for the idea!)

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald