Facebook has reached a critical mass where you can dive into profiles and see who collectively connects out there. Now it’s possible to uncover the most frequent geographical ties, including some eye-openers. And you can track what people “fan” the most, which provides a cultural zeitgeist.
In the Bay Area, President Obama makes the top-10 fan lists and San Franciscans still place him in the very top slot. Starbucks has the most social clout in the East Bay and Silicon Valley, and drops down a couple notches for San Francisco and Santa Cruz. And everyone wants more sleep, except for the already laid-back Santa Cruzans.
Bay Area friends also stick around their neighbors online, and seldom venture from California! East Bay and San Francisco friends are the closest, reciprocal connectors. Silicon Valleyites associate with San Franciscans most often, while Santa Cruzans bridge to Silicon Valleyites first and foremost.
When Bay Area Facebookers venture beyond California, they primarily reach their New York buddies. East Bay and San Francisco friends have some Washington, D.C. ties. Silicon Valley clearly works with their Seattle colleagues too. And we’re not sure why San Franciscans forge special ties with Chicagoans.
How does this work? When you sign up for Facebook, you can identify with a geographic area. It’s not a perfect measure, we know. Some Montclarions have told me they attached the San Francisco label to represent the Bay Area, rather than pick the more precise East Bay moniker. In any case, millions of Facebookers drive regional and metro distinctions that make sense here.