When people share Bible passages on Facebook and Twitter, they share individual verses 74% of the time and chapters only 9% of the time…when people read the Bible on Bible Gateway, they read complete chapters over 50% of the time and individual verses 20% of the time.
What I enjoy about these images (like the one above) is seeing how we can take massive amounts of data – thousands upon thousands of Tweets, Facebook shares, and website hits, then plot them out in a way that makes larger patterns readily recognizable. Those who know nothing of statistics or data gathering can visually compare social network activity with other types of online activity. This is possible because our brains more easily recognize patterns visually than in a massive spreadsheet.
I’m especially encouraged when I see this taking place with regard to biblical interests. It is God, after all, who gave us these communication skills and the cognitive abilities to interpret things with our eyes. When art and architecture was all the rage, we got the Sistine Chapel and Notre Dame – both of which are explicity meant to honor God. Today, information is the dominant cultural theme but it most often lacks any Christian concepts. It’s about time we started catching up to those trends, and this kind of analysis is a good step.
UPDATE: The author of the Bible Gateway post has expanded on his methods and provided futher analysis on his website, OpenBible.info. If you’re a data “viz wiz”, you can also download the raw data for your own analysis (thanks for making that available!).