Network Sampling Blueskytes

I’m curious about Bluesky, and have accidentally found I can access part of its API. In particular, given a user’s handle, I can download their skytes, their posts. I got tipped off here: https://mastodon.social/@badlogic@mastodon.gamedev.place/111246801418649849

Earlier this week, I decided to use this to see who’s who in Bluesky. Starting with 10 “seed” accounts, I downloaded their 100 most recent skytes (blurts?) and scanned them for references to other Blueskytes. From this enhanced list of users, I continued the process until I had 10,000 usernames (slow, overnight). Not good network sampling, either, but simple and brute force. On the way I keep track of how many references there are to each user, so I end up with data on how often different accounts are @-ed or mentioned. Here is the top 50:

Rank Handle Mentions
1 neilhimself.neilgaiman.com 476
2 bsky.app 427
3 pfrazee.com 421
4 darthbluesky.bsky.social 242
5 jay.bsky.team 233
6 nytimes.com 206
7 alttext.bsky.social 178
8 washingtonpost.com 168
9 profmusgrave.bsky.social 158
10 scalzi.com 150
11 deck.blue 126
12 danirabaiotti.bsky.social 119
13 support.bsky.team 108
14 jun.de 106
15 faineg.bsky.social 102
16 graysky.app 100
17 why.bsky.team 97
18 chuckwendig.bsky.social 90
19 jbouie.bsky.social 89
20 aoc.bsky.social 87
21 scoremywordle.bsky.social 87
22 furryli.st 87
23 jaketapper.bsky.social 86
24 emily.bsky.team 80
25 berduck.deepfates.com 79
26 tkingfisher.bsky.social 76
27 estrogenempress.gay 76
28 carlomasala1.bsky.social 75
29 gailsimone.bsky.social 74
30 mmasnick.bsky.social 74
31 fotovorschlag.bsky.social 72
32 kenwhite.bsky.social 71
33 rauchway.bsky.social 68
34 thoughtbubbleuk.bsky.social 65
35 jamesgunn.bsky.social 64
36 taz.de 64
37 premeemohamed.com 62
38 jack.bsky.social 60
39 tagesspiegel.de 60
40 aliafonzy.bsky.social 59
41 jaz.bsky.social 58
42 roterpander.bsky.social 54
43 zeit.de 54
44 financialtimes.com 54
45 attackerman.bsky.social 54
46 zeitonline.bsky.social 53
47 moinbot.bsky.social 53
48 briankeene.bsky.social 52
49 realkachelmann.bsky.social 52
50 janboehm.bsky.social 51

I think Neil Gaiman is a nice guy, and a great writer, but why is he the biggest thing in Bluesky? He seems very engaged there, though. I recognise a lot of the other accounts as people I used to see in the former place. I have to say, it seems a bit dull!

This isn’t good sampling, but checking 10k accounts in a population of 2 million should be starting to get good coverage. I wouldn’t be surprised if I was missing out whole language-defined zones, though (some DE stuff there, but very little east Asian).

Kuba Suder @mackuba@martianbase.net saw me tooting about it on Mastodon, and has access to a 30-day Bluesky firehose. He ran a similar query, but without the network sampling issues. His results are different:

https://mastodon.social/@mackuba@martianbase.net/111530599484964224

A lot more very highly-mentioned bots, and some users @-ed much more than in my data. However, a lot of the key figures are in similar positions. Well, if we exclude the bots, there is at least a correlation!

Scatterplot of Kuba's and my data

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.