Photo: Rafinha Bastos: Twitter’s Most Influential User
Who is this Brazilian comedian, more influential on Twitter than Lady Gaga, President Obama and Kim Kardashian?
Recently, the New York Times asked research firm Twitalyzer, to try and figure out who is the most influential person on Twitter; they came back with something called the Influence Index, a formula that counts the number of times somebody’s Twitter name is mentioned by other users and measures how much someone tweets, and further affects the resulting conversations.
They also came back with an interesting bit of news. The most influential person on twitter, is not Lady Gaga, not President Obama; incendiary Twitter-ers Charlie Sheen or José Canseco, you say? Nope.
The most influential user in the Twitteverse is @RafinhaBastos.
But who is @RafinhaBastos?
Raised in Porto Alegre, Bastos studied journalism in college before winning a basketball scholarship in 1999 that took him to Chadron State College in Nebraska.
To stay in touch with friends back home he began to e-mail jokes and parodies of Brazilian pop culture figures.
Bastos’ sports career was cut short by an injury, and he went back to Brazil where he got a job as a reporter at a local television station, always doing comedy on the side.
At a time when Facebook wasn’t even in the picture, Brazilians were using Orkut, their own social networking site, where Bastos cultivated a small following. When YouTube became the go-to site for video entertainment, Bastos began up-loading bits of his stand-up work for people to see. Then when Twitter became the new sensation, he quickly jumped on that bandwagon, tweeting jokes and humorous observations on daily life at least 5 times a day. By interacting one on one with his followers , he has been catapulted onto the top of the most influential people on Twitter list.