More than a few months ago, I created a Python script and a Rails website that tracks links to Amazon that people put in their comments and posts on Reddit. Clearly, a great name for this type of site is Product Mentions. Now that it’s been a while where the site is gathering the mentions, figure it’s time enough to look through the mentions and talk about interesting thoughts!
And before we get started, if you’re looking for information about Reddit comments on your site, blog, company, etc., shoot me an email and we can get started.
Obviously the first thing to check is what Amazon product groups are the most mentioned on Reddit, and when you check the page, it’s incredibly clear that people love mentioning specific computer technology. Check out the frequency of product mentions of personal computers. Laptops on laptops, and apparently so many mentions of Acer brand laptops.
Since books are the second most mentioned product, it is also very interesting to see what type of subreddit’s are the ones to link books. And there are tons of them, but they’re much more specific subreddits.
If you check out the most Amazon links per subreddit and search the page for ‘books’, you’ll see that there are 46 different mentions! Granted, one is for laptops that they refer to as /r/UltraBooks, you’ll be able to see subreddits for book genres: /r/comicbooks, /r/eroticebooks, /r/childrensbooks, /r/romancebooks, /r/textbooks. That type of subreddit, it seems that the culture is different and acceptable
Along similar of the weekly threads, there are tons of examples of book clubs! I have no idea what Blue Phoenix books are, but tons and tons of threads talking about the different chapters have the book linked when discussing. Here are links to the four books in that series and how they’re all mentioned each time they discuss a chapter. If you want to check out the most mentioned books in the eBooks book clubs, just check out the most mentioned books. Maybe it’s time to read some science-fiction.
Now, remember above how Books is the second most linked to Amazon product groups? Nobody mentions books on /r/Books. In fact at the current time, there have been only 11 links on that subreddit! Which is absolutely crazy considering how often that subreddit talks about favorite books.
Frankly, this type of culture makes sense. I look on that subreddit decently often, and so many threads are about what books to suggest and people seem so fancy if . And the most upvoted comments about favorite books are books that are incredibly famous and don’t need links for people to check them out.
Another reason for the lack of mentions is that it’s pretty easy to just google the title of the book and see what it’s about, either on Amazon or GoodReads. With the mentions of computer technology, or other type of products, linking to exactly the product and brand that you’re suggesting is important.
Book mentions on websites are very interesting to see, so modifying the scraping to not just grab Amazon links, but also recognize proper nouns of book titles would be a great extension.
As for vinyls, when I check which music is most mentioned, it’s all vinyl records. Which totally makes sense when you think about it since physical products are the only type of music you can buy. And since most of the Vinyls are mentioned on /r/VinylDeals, they’re basically posting links to vinyl’s that have dropped in price, and Perfect reason to link to Amazon.
Top Subreddits That People Link Amazon From
Check out the Subreddits that have the most mentions since the scraper has been running (at least when this post is published):
/r/buildapc 5034 mentions
/r/SuggestALaptop 3423 mentions
/r/pcmasterrace 2008 mentions
/r/NintendoSwitch 1462 mentions
/r/hardwareswap 1450 mentions
/r/techsupport 914 mentions
/r/MechanicalKeyboards 807 mentions
Which are absolutely all technology. So clearly.
Another type of post on Reddit is the weekly discussion threads, and with more than a few of them being from random subreddits where the mods post the threads each week and link to the same products.
Check out the weekly threads on /r/DogTraining here. With thread titles such as “Reactive Dog Support Group”, and “Separation Anxiety Support Group” always link books for each thread, meaning that those books show up higher in mentions even though they’re not mentioned on separate occasions.
If you poke around on Product Mentions, you’ll see tons more of this type of suggestions.
As is always the case when I write analysis posts, I like to list enhancements to what the code is doing.
Don’t consider products mentioned in weekly threads — Like /r/DogTraining I mentioned above, there are tons of weekly threads that have the same product mentioned every time. Having logic to not consider them highly mentioned would be cool. If a product is mentioned on different occasions, that means it’s much more popular than similar mentions.
Products that aren’t Amazon linked — Like I mentioned above, /r/Books has tons of book suggestions and analysis, but those aren’t linked to a place to buy them. But using NLTK to search for proper nouns would be interesting to see.
Suggestions to products that are mentioned frequently meaning they’re popular — Also like mentioned above, if you’re looking for a laptop, seeing which ones are mentioned the most would be a great way to decide what you want to buy. And since email subscriptions is a very popular thing for blogs, maybe Product Mentions should have one that shows which products are talked about most in the last week.
Amazon links with affiliation — Linking Amazon products with an affiliation tag so that the linker makes a few cents if someone who clicks their link and buys the product is often used on self blogs. But I’m not sure the amount of Amazon links on Reddit are of that type. Checking to see the percentage and subreddits that have this would be interesting.
Frequency of Amazon Links — Reddit does have data about how busy the website is, which mostly takes place during the daylight in Europe and the United Stats (I’m assuming). Does this match up with the frequency of Amazon links? I assume that it’d have the same graph of links per 15 minutes each day, but actually graphing it will solve that for sure.
Users who link the most — Along the lines of affiliation posts, checking to see which users post links the most is something to keep track of. Do the users have those affiliation tags? Do they link products that they created? Do they only mention one product they’re a fan of? Bunch of questions on this end. But also since I’m saving text for these posts, I’d be able to create a job that does this analysis and not have to scrap or hit Reddit’s servers to get the information. Remember, when scraping, you don’t want to crush the site’s servers. Be nice.
Links to other websites — Besides linking to Amazon products, checking the reddit comments and posts to see what other sites are getting linked to. Is Amazon the most linked to external site? Are links to comments, threads, and subreddits most linked to? What political blog is most linked to? Libral? Concervative? Libertarian? Socialist? (I’d guess the first political blog is mentioned most).
If you have suggestions on what else to do with Product Mentions, analysis, curiosity, get in contact!