Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Measure tweeting at #Syntagma #protest

Real Time Tweeting level from Syntagma Square Athens

As the tear gas was used the crowd broken up, which was reflected in a drop of the tweets per hour coming from the area.
Update: 20:10 We are seeing tweets drop under 100 an hour as police use tear gas and confront protests.  Tweets can't really fight tear gas and police. This does not mean that people are leaving, only that they are tweeting less and dispersing more.

UPDATE 19:10 The level of tweeting at Syntagma square has reached a peak at about 120 geo-tagged tweets an hour.  This is about as high as I ever see anything in Athens and indicates a large crowd, but the numbers have been stable for about 20 minutes now indicating the crowd is not growing and the rain may be dampening activity.  People may be putting away their phones or even leaving.

As they are firing tear gas Gail Orenstein blog post about how to deal with tear gas is of value. 

2011 Protesters showing preparation for tear gas

UPDATE 18:45 We are seeing rapid surging of tweets from Syntagma square, with over 100 geo-tagged tweets an hour now which indicates a crowd of 10,000s of protesters.

As the crowd gathers we are seeing Twitter surging at protest site

UPDATE: 18:30 Athens time, we are seeing the level of tweeting rise as the crowd grows.  The level of tweeting has doubled over the last hour.  Last month we saw tweets at a protest reach just over 100 geo-tagged tweets an hour, it will be interesting to see if that is topped today as a massive crowd forms in Syntagma Square.

UPDATE November 7 the above photo is of a gathering in Syntagma square.  This gathering has been stable for a few hours.  It is producing, accounting to happan.in about 20 tweets an hour with geo-locations.  This roughly means about 400 total tweets an hour for the 250 meter radius around the square.  Estimate that each tweeting produces 5 tweets you get 70 tweets.  Estimate 5% of people use twitter you get an estimate of a crowd of 1,400 to 2,000 or so.  This is about what we are seeing, though the Greek tweet numbers may be a bit low.  

We are tracking real time tweeting from the October 9th protest at Syntagma Square in Athens. Click here to see real  time tracker tool.  Greeks are not major tweeters and to see maybe 30 geo-tagged tweets coming out of Athens is usually pretty impressive.  But today we have seen Greeks tweeting over 100 geo-tagged tweets an hour.  When you consider that less than 5% of tweets have geo-tag information that is pretty impressive.  Obviously thousands of tweets are being sent from the protests where 10,000s of people must be gathered.

High tweeting rate during October 9 2012 before Merkel visits the Parliament in Athens.  Over 100 geo-tagged tweets per hour, which is high for almost anyhwere.
A about 13:00 GMT tweets strated to spike from Syntagma Square, shown with the meter above.  But by 14:50 GMT the levels had dropped by about half as police tried to clear the square. 

After the police began to clear the square the amount of tweeting dropped rapidly, probably because the area was full of tear gas and running battles with police.

October 10th 2012 tweeting from Syntagma Square, Athens is generally subdued location for geo-tegged tweeting with only a handful per day.  So the fully scale of the 9th of Octobers tweeting levels are all the more impressive.

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