TNation and what their users (literally) “like”

8 Apr

So this past week, Kurtis and I got an article published on TNation, titled New Uses for Creatine. We basically summed up some 101 on creatine (it works, it’s safe), and then talked about interesting research being done using it (neurological, cell-saving, etc).

Being the webdev engineer that I am, afterwards I thought – how can I compare how well-received my article was versus everyone else’s? The comments were effusive, but the # of registered users who could comment is a fraction of the population that saw the article. I don’t have access to pageviews/bounce rate, and so I settled on the simplest metrics we have: Facebook likes and Twitter tweets.

So I got the urls for all of the articles they had published since Jan 1, 2011, and ran it against Facebook and Twitter’s APIs. What follows is a meandering post on the various stats I came across. I had help from my webdev genius buddy Andre. You can find him at

PLEASE NOTE: I realize that likes and tweets do not directly translate to your bottom-line. But let me have some fun here, okay?

  • Most Liked: Conditioning is a Sham, by a certain Mark Rippetoe. 3949 likes
  • Most Liked Debut Article: 3 Steps to Getting Your Girl to Train by Joy Victoria. Very well-written, it garnered 2146 likes and 94 tweets (we are the second most successful debut with 1043 likes and counting). Joy’s article was actually the second-most liked article.
  • Most Tweeted: Train Like a Man 5: The Real Paleo Exercise, by Martin Rooney. Clocking in at 258 tweets, I feel like “paleo” baited this well. The second most-tweeted is also by Martin Rooney: The Manthalon. Incidentally, he is the only one to break 200+ tweets (with these two articles).
  • Tweet vs FB: Joy’s post on getting girls to train got 2146 likes, where as Mike Roussell’s 27 More Nutrition Facts got 541 (roughly 25%). This is notable because they both got slightly more than 90 tweets each. I would chalk this up to Dr. Mike’s strong twitter presence (~9500 followers). Martin Rooney has ~24,000.
  • Most Prolific: Ben Bruno clocks in at 44 articles, and Tim with 35. Ben’s most popular article was Glutes Gone Wild, and Tim’s was The Simple Diet.
  • Most Prolific, Part 2: After Tim, we get Jim Wendler, Dan John, John Meadows, TC, Mike Robertson, Bret Contreras, and Lee Boyce.
  • Most Prolific, in Likes: For people with at least 5 articles, Rippetoe has the highest average and median of likes (955 and 548 respectively). Martin Rooney is second.
  • Most Prolific, In Tweets: Martin Rooney wins this one hands down. Rippetoe is second for average, but Wil Fleming pulls and upset and gets the second highest median. With no outliers, Wil’s articles on Olympic lifting always get love on Twitter.
  • Most Popular #: A staple of titles is “5 exercises for bigger arms” or “3 tricks to make your legs grow.” The #5 was the most popular, followed by #6 and #7. The most liked for #5 was 5 Surprising Reasons You Blew Your Diet by Shelby Starnes
  • Always Working With Others: There are quite a few co-written articles on TNation. Bret Contreras has co-written with three other people, with Brad Schoenfeld his favorite teammate. The champ is Todd Bumgardner, who has written with five other people.

And that’s a wrap. We analyzed 600 articles from 117 bylines, totaling 119,925 likes and 15,173 tweets.

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