As Isaac Newton once remarked, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
Who are the Giants? So, based on that simple assertion, I was curious to identify who the top 50 SeekingAlpha contributors (“Top Contributors”) were following—the second derivative. I hoped to gain some insight into which contributors’ “work” this select group deemed valuable and if there was a central tendency towards a couple of contributors.
Methodology: The methodology was simple. I looked at the Top Contributors’ profiles (5/17/10) and noted the first 5 authors they “followed”.
Results: Of the top 50 contributors 8 followed none and 14 only followed themselves. (Is the latter like reading your own press?) That left 28 of the Top Contributors that followed 19 of their peers.
The Top 50 Followed: Of the Top Contributors, the most followed of their peer group were John Lounsbury (4) and Bespoke Investment Group (3).
1. John Lounsbury provides financial planning for small number of families on a fee basis only. He has produced 298 articles and 1,063 instablogs as well as generating 2,750 comments.
2. The Bespoke Investment Group has produced the largest number of articles at 3,299. (The average number of articles produced for the top 50 contributors was 674.)
Non-top 50: A Non-Top 50 SeekingAlpha contributor who is heavily followed by the Top Contributors is Boaz Berkowitz (5). Boaz is an editor at SeekingAlpha. He has produced 8 articles and 77 comments.
Also another favorite in this category is Tyler Durden (3). Tyler is a pseudonym. He has produced 624 articles. Judging by his SeekingAlpha’s icon, he’s really Brad Pitt.
1. Almost half of the Top 50 contributors didn’t follow other contributors on SeekingAlpha.
2. Of those that did, there was little concentration of “following” Top Contributors by their peers. For the Top Contributors that did follow others, they drew on a wide range of diversified contributors.
3. The only unusual data point was that of Boaz Berkowitz. With very little production he has gained a significant following among the Top 50 contributors.[i] All other high frequency contributors followed were prolific with regards to articles or comments.
[i] I’ve had the pleasure to correspond with Boaz as he has been in a position to interact with SeekingAlpha contributors. He is a charming guy. Possibly, as a result of interfacing with contributors like me, he’s gained recognition within the SeekingAlpha community and ready acceptance by its major contributors. Or, he’s just a brilliant investment strategist with little need of introduction.