Sunday, 27 February 2011

We were wrong: Not anticipating major political unrest in Madison...

Web 3.0 Lab: Not anticipating major political unrest in Madison...:

"UPDATE: Since the time of writing this article we have seen a sudden surge in Tweeting coming from the protest site in Madison. >Monitoring both Madison and St Louis this afternoon we see no sign of expanded Twitter activity coming from the Capitol area of Madison. We therefore conclude that any unrest or acceleration in the weekend demonstration is unlikely."

We are struggling to modify our models after a sudden surge in Tweeting at the end of Saturdays protest was followed by a surge in tweeting today and what looks like is going to be a non-violent protest confronting the Governor directly. We are seeing a great deal of similarity to protests in Egypt and Bahrain, without the same level of police violence or limitations on tweeps, though they have been removed from the building.

We are now seeing a heavy cloud of tweeting hanging over Madison's Capitol as the area becomes the sight of a major protest inside and outside of the building.

UPDATE: Since this initial failure to predict the Madison event, we have considered our model. The main thing we have noticed is that tweeting laged events in Madison. In Bahrain, the other case we saw, involved a pre-protest surge. We have seen the surge also recently in Kuwait. Madison may have had this lag because of the more open nature of American culture. Arab protests have been to a degree forced to social networks. Protests in the West don't have this requirement.

This does not mean that protests in the west don't benefit from social networks. We have found with the Uncut social networks in the UK are using Facebook and Twitter to organize around a full nation.


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