An overview

What would happen if one would use the Twitter data of almost 600 Dutch startups to map their interaction into one large network? Look through the eyes of Dutch startups to the local ecosystem, and see which parties are important to them.

General overview of top 365 mentioned users:


How to read such a network?

  • Every node [dot] represents a Twitter user account
  • If one user mentions another, this creates an edge [link] between the two nodes
  • To more mentions, the stronger the traction between the nodes
  • The node size represents the amount of times the user is mentioned
  • The colours express statistical communities

What can be done with such a network analysis? This research zooms in to particular participants to see where they are positioned, with additional interviews to see how they tap into the entire network. Social entrepreneurs with growth / scaling potential are chosen because of their impact-first mentality over a sole revenue-based focus. Included in this profile:

Snappcar, vandebron, Fairphone, Konnektid, Part-up, Heppee, Waka-Waka, Yournalism and Bundles


Where are they positioned in the network above?



Another way to visual how these ‘social startup’ tie into the ecosystem is by colouring their connections black:

Social startups highlighted

What can be said about the position and integration of the nine social startups?

  • Social entrepreneurs are not one cluster, but spread over the network
  • They have a strong reach, tapping into many communities
  • The main theme around they are organized is the share economy / sustainable entrepreneur
  • Connecting actors or bridge builders are important for their organisation and integration

Together with these social startup, another 5 organisations have been interviewed for their role seems important to integrated the share economy / sustainable entrepreneur cluster, being: Pakhuis de Zwijger, Sprout, Share NL, Social Enterprise NL and Impact Hub Amsterdam.


Other actors outlined



But why these interviews? Talking to people on ground level is crucial to understand the mechanisms at work under the surface of these graphs. Interviews helped to explain, nuance and complicate the findings in the network while creating sensitivity to the limitations of Twitter-driven analysis too. See what implications these interviews lead to in my recent blogpost ‘the politics of network graphs‘.




Got curious?


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Or drop a line at:

mail [@] jeroendevos [.] nl or +316 24 542 807


This project has been established with the help of Dealroom and in a collaboration with Digital Methods Initiative [UvA].

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