Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Twitter tracker for TUC 20th October protest



Tweeting rose at the event, but Hyde Park was very muddy that reduced the amount of tweets per hour.
The above meter shows the intensity of tweets coming from Hyde Park, where TUC is planning a demonstration for 4pm GMT on the 20th of October 2012. It will be interesting to see how many geo-tagged tweets come from this location. Hyde Park normally sees almost no tweeting so it is safe to assume that almost all the tweets coming from Hyde Park will be related to the protest.

The next day we see tweeting going back down to a more typical level.


 
Hyde Park normally is a twitter dead zone, so it will be interesting to see if how many geo-tagged tweets per hour might come.
Given that this will be a case of a twitter dead zone used for a political event, key items we will be looking at will be:

  1. How does tweeting at an event sponsored by a trade union and well organised compare to events organised by groups like Occupy and Anonymous?
  2. How does level of tweeting compared to other nations like Spain (which sees very high tweeting at protests) or Athens (not a major tweeting area)?
  3. How does tweeting levels compare to non-political events like the Olympics?
Well now that we have our answer.  Tweeting compared to the Olympic park, but was a bit lower.  The Olympics saw about 10% more tweeting.  This would be about correct, as their were 65,000 people attending the Opening Ceremony and the TUC protest drew 100,000; but because of very muddy conditions in Hyde Park a large part did not attend the final rally.

Tweet levels for opening ceremony 2012 games
What is a bit surprising is that we saw higher levels of tweeting at the Global Noise protest in London, were only a few hundred people showed up.  And yet levels of tweeting were as high if not higher.  At one point we even saw and average of 100 tweets per hour coming from St Paul's area on the 13th of October.

Tweeting from demonstration at St Paul's on 13 of October by Occupy

What can account for the discrepancy between the Olympic and TUC protest numbers ( about 50 geo-tagged tweets an hour for 50,000 to 100,000 total people present) and the Occupy protest at St Paul's (100 tweets per hour for a group of about 1,000)?

Here are some ideas:

  1. The Occupy group is a much more technical community that most union members of sports fans and will therefore be more likely to tweet.
  2. The Occupy had a high concentration of tweeters in a small location, while the nature of a stadium or massive rally in a muddy field distributes tweeps.
  3. St Paul's is in the center of a busy part of London where other people are likely to be tweeting, the TUC demonstration and the Olympic opening ceremony were bot in normal dead zones for twitter.
  4. The Occupy people were encouraged to tweet the event.
Confirmation of the potential impact of a muddy Hyde Park comes from looking at the Tweeting levels at Westminster just across from Big Ben.  Though it is normally a high tweet location, for a Saturday one would not anticipate over 100 tweets per hour.

Tweeting levels in front of Big Ben as the TUC demonstration passed.
Around Westminster there are a number of pubs and coffee houses and this was a location for marcher to take a rest, to use the restrooms or get a drink, so this elevate level of tweeting probably more accurately shows the level of tweeting that was taking place.  But Westminster is also often a hub of twitter activity and this could also include journalists and government workers on what was a very dramatic news day.


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