Social Media Usage in Corvallis, OR: Part I

I’ve been trying to know more about what happens in Corvallis, OR by watching what a twitter search for “corvallis” turns up (see it here). It turns out to be a mixture of irrelevance and the occasional nugget of information (but that is true of any search). Recently the amount of noise in this search has decreased, making it more interesting. However, it still has nothing near the full spectrum of everything happening in Corvallis. Adding other keywords like OSU or beavers doesn’t help at all. In fact it adds more irrelevance since both of those terms are highly overloaded (OSU – Oregon State, Ohio State, Oklahoma State; beavers – animal name & slang term).

I decided to check out Facebook. I already knew that many people in Corvallis tend to use Facebook and most events in Corvallis are posted on Facebook. I wanted to see how well this online resource was being utilized. Here’s what I found:

Over 500 groups returned in search for Corvallis, not all from Oregon. In fact one result was from Studio City, CA. Evidently there’s a Catholic School named Our Lady of Corvallis There were a few from Corvallis, MT. One remarkably lax group was made for people to publicly post their phone numbers, because the group creator lost his phone in Corvallis. The groups ranged from Corvallis Happy Hour to We Hate Corvallis to the humorous Corvallis Residents that Live in the Beanery to various special interest groups and quite a few religion oriented groups.

There are only 66 pages in the search results, including pages not in Oregon. The page with the most fans is Corvallis Oregon with 3,064 members.

There is no way to determine the number of people in Corvallis using Facebook’s search features, but wait for more info as I develop some number crunching algorithms to approximate this info. I remember that there was a Corvallis, OR network in Facebook that had everyone registered. It disappeared. I think the membership was above 5,000. So, a very hazy and uncertain value for citizens of Corvallis, a town of about 55,000 people, on Facebook is about one in ten.

Well known local business tend to have a group with a membership of about 100 +/- 20. The typical group has about 20 members on average. Notable exceptions are: Corvallis, it’s more than just a town, it’s a state of mind. with 2,082; Solar Panels for CHS with 1,405; Corvallis Nightlife Enthusiasts with 1004; Beaver Joe with 756; In Corvallis Summer 09 with 589;Tempe12 at Oregon State University with 531; Tony’s Smoke Shops with 452 (granted this is shared with other towns); PRIDE Corvallis with 289; Corvallis High School alumni with 271; and the game OSU/Corvallis Fugitive with 257 members.

A brief look at the 66 pages shows a similar distribution for the number of fans per page. Pages seem to have an average mode of 20 +/- 14 members.

Too many businesses are using a personal account for their presence on Facebook.

I look forward to discovering more about these networks, and if they are now searchable that means that per person activity data might be available soon (perhaps a scary thought for some).

Please comment on this post. I’d like to know what you think and what you’d like to know more about.


2 thoughts on “Social Media Usage in Corvallis, OR: Part I

  1. For a while a search of just “Corvallis” on Twitter was very noisy with porn bots. Even before that however I was finding little value monitoring just “Corvallis” on Twitter.

    I am really interested in more insight about Corvallis on Facebook. Facebook is really tough to monitor and their search feature is nearly useless. It would be awesome if you able to crack that egg.

  2. Hi, Jillian –

    Great information! Thanks for sharing. I think the Corvallis, OR network on Facebook included Albany and other surrounding areas so I would guess that you’d have to use a higher population # than 55K. And I wonder why it disappeared?

    I also wonder why businesses set up personal accounts. Do you think they don’t know about pages, or do you think they prefer the personal accounts? It would be interesting to have more data, even if it’s just anecdotal.

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