TechCrunch is a weblog that reviews products or companies that are having an impact on the internet. Who do they write about and how do references to these companies or products vary over time ? I've analyzed the proper names referenced in their posts in the time frame May 1st, 2006 until April 30th, 2008 - 2 years of data. I discarded place names and people and plotted the top 8 names with the most references in a StreamGraph below.
The graph clearly shows the companies that have dominated TechCrunch coverage over the last 2 years. Google looks biggest with FaceBook, Yahoo, and Microsoft being quite large as well. You can spot the increase in coverage for Microsoft and Yahoo in Feb of this year due to the merger talks. Notice also that MySpace and FaceBook were fairly even until July 2007 when FaceBook began dominating. If you look closely you can also tell that Twitter has become important lately with the number of references in April 2008 very similar to both Microsoft and FaceBook.
The standard line graph for the same data lets you see some details more clearly. Google was indeed the most referenced company in all but
a few months where it was barely exceeded by Yahoo (Sep 2006, Feb 2008) and FaceBook (Aug and Oct 2007). And references to Twitter did
barely exceed Microsoft and Facebook in Apr 2008.
The standard line graph cannot usefully show the top 20 names because so many of the series overlap each other and can't be distinguished. The StreamGraph version for 20 names is much more useful at full size.
The data for this analysis was kindly provided by Yuvi from The StatBot. About a month ago The StatBot posted TechCrunch Statistics A-W which contains lots of graphs and tables for those interested in more details about TechCrunch. A second post was published a couple of days later, TechCrunch Stats W.1 – Why Mike Arrington is popular, which shows the top authors at TechCrunch. Many of the comments for this second post stated that it would be interesting to see the author posting history over time. Well here it is !