Publishing appears to be stable now. We will keep monitoring throughout the evening. If you are having trouble, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ve noticed a high number of errors due to the high volume of requests that the Twitter API is receiving this afternoon. We’re closely monitoring the situation and will keep you updated throughout the evening.
Hurricane Sandy was the largest Atlantic hurricane on record, devastating parts of the Caribbean as well as the US East Coast. The loss of human life, displacements of families and damage to homes and businesses on the East Coast was unprecedented. During the storm and its aftermath, social media has been critical in spreading important information and mobilizing relief efforts. Some argue that Twitter was more accessible and far-reaching than any TV network, with over 20 million Tweets posted during the height of the storm.
Thanks to the wide range of questions posted by folks on Twitter, In this post we try to examine as many as we can. We look at prominent hashtags, urls, devices used and topics shared over the course of the past week around Hurricane Sandy. We show a map of user locations as they lose power in their homes. Finally we discuss a case where misinformation spread and how the network caught on incredibly fast.
Blackout map based on Tweets (interactive version below)
Earlier this week I was invited to participate in Bloomberg TV’s Market Makers to talk about data from last week’s presidential debate. The segment was shot the following morning after the debate. Even with such short notice, we managed to show a few interesting views of the data:
1. Even though Romney is said to have won the debate, when you look at social data, #Obama2012 appears much more prominent and central. This might be happening because there are more users on Twitter rooting for Obama. Or perhaps this reflects a much more organized campaign, using a single hashtag for all of their communications.
2. We can clearly identify two different topic spaces amongst the Republicans – one is Romney’s campaign, and the other, Tea Party / #tcot. The conversation around Romney is much more fragmented than the conversation around Obama.
3. We observe three dominant clusters of users from Ohio discussing the debates. There was a clear political cluster, a media cluster, and surprisingly, a significant cluster of users from Ohio State University.
Video of the interview along with graphs are embedded below:
Some more information about the graphs:
First, I highlighted a simple graph showing the different curves that represent each of the prominent debate hashtags. Obviously #debates was substantially larger compared to #Obama2012, #Romney2012 and even #BigBird. That said, the fact that the other hashtags didn’t spike as much, doesn’t mean they were not dominant within the discussion online.
Next I presented a network graph that maps out prominent hashtags and user mentions during the first presidential debate. It is clustered by modularity, which means that hashtags/user mentions that appeared together in higher than usual levels, will be under the same color.
Here’s a zoomed in version:
And here’s #bigbird / #pbs:
The next graph maps out the friend/follow relationships between a segment of users who were discussing the #debates on Twitter. In this case, we see users from Ohio, or those affiliated with Ohio, and how they’re interconnected. Again, the graph is clustered by modularity, where three distinct clusters emerge.
The first (yellow, top right), seems to be politicos from Ohio, including @JohnKasich (governor), @johnboehner (Ohio congressional rep and speaker of the house) and @robportman (Ohio senator). The second (purple, middle right) are Twitter handles that represent local media in Cleveland and across Ohio such as @clevelanddotcom and @WEWS. While the third dominant cluster (green, bottom right) users from Ohio State University who formed a significant part of Ohio-ans discussing the debate.
Thoughts, ideas or suggestions? Find me on Twitter – @gilgul
Twitter Gives ‘Certified Products’ Badges to 12 Ecosystem Companies
SocialFlow, Crimson Hexagon and Radian6 Among Those Credentialed
Published: August 29, 2012
Twitter has made another move to govern its ecosystem, announcing “certified products” badges for developers who play by its rules.
Today’s announcement comes two weeks after Twitter formally announced impending and long-anticipated changes to its API, where new client apps needing more than 100,000 users will need the company’s express permission to proceed. A dozen companies in the three categories of analytics, engagement and data resale were selected for the launch of the certified-products program. They include the social-analytics firm Crimson Hexagon; the social-enterprise tools Sprinklr, Radian6, HootSuite and SocialFlow; and the social-integration platform Mass Relevance, which aggregates and filters tweets to be displayed on TV or on a Jumbotron.
Conspicuously missing from the list are Twitter clients like Echofon and Tweetbot. In a blog post announcing the API changes, Twitter’s director of consumer product Michael Sippey noted that Twitter had informed developers 18 months ago that they shouldn’t “build client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience” in the vein of those two.
Twitter’s ad business is designed around its own platform, so the reason for wanting to weed out client apps is obvious, but the company appears to have forged a mutually beneficial arrangement with HootSuite, which has been focused on beefing up its enterprise offering for the last couple of years (and did get a badge). HootSuite helped Twitter launch promoted tweets in 2010, and the two companies last week announced a promotion where 30,000 HootSuite customers were to receive $100 in vouchers for Twitter ads.
How Twitter selected the dozen companies for the launch is unclear, but SocialFlow’s CEO Frank Speiser said that the application process took about three months after he received an invitation, and some tweaks to the platform were necessary. In its guidelines for future applicants to the program, Twitter highlights consistency with its own metrics in reporting and providing attribution to Twitter when building experiences based on tweets as requirements.
The value to Mr. Speiser of an engagement badge is clear. SocialFlow is also in the process of applying for an Ads API badge on Facebook, and he called the application process for both platforms “high bars.”
“If you’re a big brand or a retailer or a publisher and you want to figure out how you can best reach your audience, Twitter’s saying we’re a preferred tool to do that,” he said.
Unlike verified user accounts, which have recently only been available to paying advertisers and to individuals or businesses who can prove they have been willfully impersonated, Twitter appears to be credentialing vendors on the basis of whether they can help make the Twitter experience and analytics consistent for marketers.
Also absent from the list are social-TV startups like Bluefin Labs and Trendrr, which rely heavily on Twitter data to gauge consumer behavior. Spokespeople from those companies declined to comment on whether they had applied. Twitter does have an application page open.