L.A. likes Twilight and S.F. likes The Big Lebowski?
So says a graphic put out by the social networking site StumbleUpon, analyzing the cultural differences between the two cities.
"You can see a lot of things that actually aren't surprising," says StumbleUpon data analyst Tim Abraham, who conducted the study. "Our users were actually finding content that confirms stereotypes that we have about L.A. and S.F."
Here's the graphic:
In an interview, Abraham, who is based in the Bay Area, speculated about the reasons for these differences:
On L.A. liking Star Wars, and S.F. liking Star Trek:
"I figured LA is movies, L.A. is Hollywood. San Francisco maybe has more of a cultish, nerdy Star Trek thing going on."
On L.A. liking vodka, S.F. liking wine:
"We're close to Napa Valley, we have a lot of wine bars here, we're snobbing out on wine," says Abraham. Regarding vodka in L.A., he says, "I hold stereotypes may or may not be true, but when we think of L.A. we think of clubs and cocktails and going to the hotel and ordering some martini by the pool."
On L.A. liking Katy Perry, S.F. liking Rihanna:
"Katy Perry, at least in S.F., we think of her as a very L.A. celebrity."
On L.A. liking Twilight, S.F. liking The Big Lebowski:
Everyone I know likes Big Lebowski...We have movies in Dolores Park and they'll play Big Lebowski, or at the Castro Theater.
On L.A. liking post-modernism, S.F. liking post-post-modernism:
"I don't even really know what post-post-modern is. I think we included that because we thought it was hilarious."
Here's how they got their data: StumbleUpon users tell the site their interests, so it can tell them what other websites they might be interested in. Users then browse the internet, giving "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" to various pages as they go.
The data for the study pulled from the interests that users self-reported to StumbleUpon, but it also used software to pull important words from the pages that they gave a "thumbs up" to, and factored that data in as well.
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They took all the words that people were interested in, separated them into 500 different categories, and in each category identified the pairs of keywords where there was the biggest difference between the two cities. For the chart, they took the 10 pairs that seemed most interesting.
And, lest you were wondering, there aren't big demographic differences between the cities' participants -- in terms of gender or age, for instance -- that would skew the data, Abraham says.
Meaning there aren't any more teen girls using StumbleUpon in L.A. than there are in S.F. -- so we actually have to answer for liking Twilight.