Saturday, 29 June 2013

Real time twitter tracking at London #GayPride

Tracking tweets from London's Gay Pride party. Presently 25% of tweets from Soho in London mention the word pride, only 10% mention gay. So the parade is more about Pride than about identity these days?

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Twitter analysis coming from Austin State House after @WendyDavisTexas filibuster

Though tweeting is not very high, it is overwhelming about Wendy Davis successful effort to block more restrictions on abortion rights in Texas.

At about 6 AM local time the tweets coming from the area around the Texas Capitol Building:

  • 25% of tweets and retweets are address to @WendyDavisTexas
  • 20% mention hashtag #sitewithwendy
  • 15% still mention #standwithwendy
  • 50% mention #sb5
  • 20% mention proud

Track the current real time tweets coming from the site here.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Mapping tweets at #Glastonbury

Use this tool to see real time tweets coming from Glastonbury:

These are results I published in 2013

Use these tools to track the level and content of tweets from the area around #Glastonbury.

Of a sample of 100 tweets coming to the festival over about three hours Wednesday these observations emerged:
  • Festival of sharers with 60% of people posting links to others site, 50% more than normal tweeting so they are sharers of data.
  • Instagram rules: with 1 in 4 tweets being to an Instagram picture.
  • Fourquare is alive and well as Glasto, with 22% of tweeting being checkins to the site.
  • Twitpic is holding its own, with 10% of tweets having twitpic pictures.
  • All other links are to web sites, no major links were any other social or photo sharing site.
  • Tweeps form Glasto don't seem to be socially anymore influential than most twitter users, a random sample of 100 users had an average Klout score of 40.7.  The average for all of Klout is 40.  
  • During the festival tweeting is going from 50 to 100 geo-tagged tweets an hour, the level of a medium to large city centre in the US or EU, in the middle of a field.  
  • Around 30% of tweets have a hashtag, most commonly glasto or glastonbury but other as well, this is about twice the normal rate of hashtags, so the are meme driven.
  • They are social, half of tweets mention another twitter user account.  This is normal social tweeting though.
  • Rolling Stones were a hit: the day after 20% of tweets mention the Rolling Stones, of these only 1 was negative the rest just mentioned them or were positive.   Positive statements tended to be strong. Following the hashtag during the performance a lot of comments were highly negative by people watching the show on BBC.  Perhaps it was the effort of getting out there, but the people tweeting from the concert itself either like the performance, or convinced themselves after the massive effort that they were going to like the concert. 
  • Last night ecstasy: as the last night close twitter ramped up to over 140 geo-tagged tweets an hour, meaning likely thousands of total tweets, with repeated statements of the existential experience it seemed to be. 


  1. Tweeting levels are actually not high given the large number of people there and their ages.
  2. People are engaging in higher than normal tagging and sharing images.
  3. Foursquare check are normal.
  4. People are not more social than normal.
  5. All are in line with a big event in a remote area where it might be hard to charge a phone or get a signal.
  6. There was a significant difference between the responses posted to twitter by TV viewers and in site participants, with people there being highly more positive about everything. 
  7. Peer pressure still exists, in fact much of the emergent social media people are talking about is just good old fashioned peer pressure.  For example as the stones first performed there were a lot of comments on twitter from TV viewers that were negative, as the next day progresses and reviews are published, the response is becoming more and more uniform.  You can see twitter agree that the 'Rolling Stones were good' in real time.  Public sentiment emerges via a process of discourse, and in this process traditional established media players like BBC, the papers and celebrity still have massive power, if not actually more power than in traditional culture were social and electronic media were more seperated.

Tracking tweets coming from #Wimbledon

Use these tools to track the level and content of tweets from the area around #Wimbledon.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Tracking tweets from #Mandela hospital

This tool is tracking tweeting from outside of Mandela's hospital as his condition becomes critical.

Friday, 21 June 2013

#ProtestoRJ floods twitter Acompanhe os tweets

Protests in Rio Brazil are producing a massive amount of twitter activity. Track real time tweets with this tool
Protestos no Rio Brasil estão produzindo uma enorme quantidade de atividade do twitter. Acompanhe os tweets em tempo real com esta ferramenta.

Read tweets from the protest below:

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Social Media at #Stonehenge

The meter above counts the number of tweets coming from the area around Stonehenge

The map above shows web data that is related to Stonehenge, click the icons to learn more. Below are links coming from Stonehenge, you can click on a link to start up a conversation with someone who is there, as long as there post is fairly recent.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Mapping #OccupyGezi with social media

Real time twitter score for tweets coming from Taksim Square in Istanbul: OccupyGezi gelen tweets Sayısı (gerçek zamanlı):
Real time twitter tweets coming from Taksim Square in Istanbul: OccupyGezi tweets (gerçek zamanlı):

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Tracking tweets from #LeWeb

See high tweeting from LeWeb site, within 1 KM of the event we are seeing over 200 geo-tagged tweets an hour, with 70% of tweets mentioning LeWeb explicitly.  Use the tool to see tweets geo-tagged for near this location.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Did twitter just break a major UK political sex scandal?

The newspapers in the UK are reporting that a sex scandal exists near No 10, but they are not disclosing the name.  But on twitter it seems that an emerging consensus is that it was News of the World employees Rebecca Brooks and Andy Coulson.
The evidence for this is extremely week. A popular tweeter "Guido Fawkes" (Paul Staines) claims to know, and is a person who probably would know.  

Okay based on clues given by Staines this is all I think it comes down to:
  1. The are not MPs
  2. They are not in the cabinet
  3. Is was a man and a woman
  4. Staines labelled a image #acrb which is being taken as a hint. 
Okay so it makes sense it might be them two, but this is not really first rate journalism and twitter has had some epic fails.  Lets see what the outcome it, has twitter shown that UK libel laws are meaningless in an age of rapid self publishing, or does the concept of the wisdom of crowds have yet another major failure?

Industrial Convergence is the key concept of future economics

A nice quick intro to the concept of industrial convergence from

3D printing is quickly demonstrating a key factor in understanding the urban life to come.  Two factors are working to transform industry from the silos of today, dependent on cheap labor living in distant places, and a sustainable future.

I explain why the pace of innovation is creating less high tech factory

Firstly the issue is energy, and the massive dependency on cheap energy that the current economics uses.  The other factor is growing ability to create substances and objects from data that can be shared via open standards on the Interent.

3D printing is showing the possibility of downloading almost anything anywhere and creating it via recycled material near the point of consumption.  Very soon it will be possible to create clothing and most other consumer goods a the point of use using recycled material.

But just because something is technically possible does not mean it will be done.  In fact local production is possible now, its just not economical for the most part.

What will drive convergence uptake will be the cost of energy.  If we do run out of cheap oil and no alternative is found the cost of moving a pair of shoes or jeans from China will become so high it will become better to produce them locally, using 3D printers or other machines of the future.

But there is a possibility that solar, wind or nuclear will provide a new age of cheap energy.  If there is a new age of cheap energy it is possible that not local convergent industry will be able to compete with the low costs of China.

Let me explain.  Why are so many of the things you own made in China?  We all know the answer is cheap quality labor.  But given the amazing possibility of modern technology why do plants in the United States and EU not just put in machines that would so expand human capacity as to make the cheap labor of China meaningless?  Its is a good question.  If you have ever seen how things are done in China you will notice a great deal of inefficiency and wasted human effort.  With modern computers and machines a factory in the United States could easily be so much more efficient than one in China that the difference in wages would become almost nothing.

But that is the issue, the fact that putting machinery in place costs money, in what is called fixed capital.  You need to operate a plant for some time to get the benefit of fixed capital investment and there is always a chance you will never get the benefit if you lose your market or the technology does not work.

Innovation in consumer demand is actually making this worse.  

If you put machinery in a plant you need to run the machines for a certain amount of time to get return on the investment.  If you don't use machines you need to use more people.  Since the items being created change so rapidly it is better not to have fixed capital in machinery and to have capital invested in labor.

Okay, I know this sounds Marxist.  My defence on that kind of lame point is that Marx simply assumed classical economics of the 18th and 19th Century to be true, so this is just Classic economics.

So where is the invisible hand that makes everything right in the market?  Well the only way to argue for that is to say service jobs in the west make up for lost production jobs.  Personally I see that as the case.  When I was 21 I got a job in a chemical plant over the summer.  I was able to get another job for the same wages working with retarded adults.  I found the job working with retarded adults far more rewarding and was happy to leave the old economy and enter a lifetime of service economy work.  Since that time I have, for 25 years, not work one day outside of the service sector.  I think my story is kind of typical.

The necessary #Tumblr #Yahoo post: why its worse than you think

Who is it who wanted Tumblr to juin Yahoo?  Certainly not the user of either site.
Okay before I even write I know what you think I think: Tumblr selling to Yahoo! is terrible for Tumblr users.  Well duh?

Yahoo is the guy who is entering his fifth marriage to a woman he meet in rehab who is half his age.  Yahoo is the place that web site go to die.  Given that Internet users have minds of their own it hard to see how this will work, even if Yahoo manages somehow not to screw this one up, which would be a first, its hard to see the users sticking with Tumblr long enough to find out.  Yahoo reputation goes before it and in social networks it's the chaotic mass actions of crowds that have highly unpredictable impacts.  Unpredictable usually means catastrophic for the established players with poor track records.

Screaming Yahoo! in a social network will create a stampede of users out.  User are rational agents who have formed opinions often based on a wealth of previous experience.  After a certain point it is very hard for brands to revive themselves in a market where reputation and information is everything.

But really I could care less about Tumblr per say: its just another blogging social network tool.  So many have come and gone over the past 10 years its hard to get any emotion about one.  Personally I stopped using Tumblr for no other reason than I couldn't be bother about converting TIFFs to JPGs.

Yes, I am that jaded.

But the fact that Yahoo! could buy a successful new platform like this tells us something terrible about the Internet.

There are essentially two points of view about how the Internet could build freedom.  On the left wing their is the idea that the Internet gives citizens a cheap easy to use platform to promote democracy.  The mass ownership of social networks that are prepared to censor content automatically has killed this idea and the hope of an Internet that was managed via democratic means is long gone.

So we have the Internet as a business, for the most part having to be sustainable and profitable.  Thank goodness for Wikipedia and Linux, which still cling to the leftist utopia model of an emergent democratic internet, but for the most part the Internet is about venue flow.

On the right wing of the Internet are the libertarians have said that direct democracy was not necessary, because the Internet was a market and that users moving from platform to platform would have the same result, via the 'magic of the marketplace' that direct elections could have.  Free markets, the story goes, would create a free Internet.

People have pointed to protest movements use of Facebook and Twitter as evidence of this, and frankly something has to be said for it.  Users are not dumb machines, they are not the play things of corporate strategies and even in a fully commodity based platform like Facebook users have found ways to express a wide range of opinions.

But the core idea of the libertarian movement is that the Internet is a market place.

Yahoo! buying Tumblr shows that this is not even true.

If the Internet was a real market, with free entry and 'creative destruction' taking place Yahoo! would not only NOT be buying Tumblr it would have been driven out of business years ago by more agile effective players.  And yet this catastrophic company, perhaps the worst run major company in the US since Enron (I don't say that lightly) has managed to buy one of the most popular and dynamic new blogging and networking platforms.

This is NOT free market capitalism.

The Internet is a more disturbing concentration of power than most anyone is thinking.

The Internet seems to be more like a feudal system before industrialisation.  Revenue comes via ad views, which are controlled by ownership of the platforms.  The users create all the value by publishing content to platforms like YouTube and Facebook, but Google and Facebook make the money as a kind of rent they establish by control of this.

It is important to compare this to Wikipedia which funds via donations.  Wikipedia is capable of an emergent democratic process where users can raise issues, and admins can be convinced to change.  In the years I have worked, modestly, with Wikipedia I have seen major changes in the way power is daily used and shared.

But that is not the norm.

The norm is massive companies too big to fail which dominate more and more of the platforms making profits for their investors.

The Internet is looking more and more like the banking sector.

So what chance freedom?

I will come out and say it, the only opportunity most users have of establishing freedom on the emerging corporate web is being bitches: ignoring rules and working to subvert the system to work in ways that serve their interests.  This seems to be the fate of resistance in consumer society.

But the idea that the Internet would function like a high school was not the promise that motivated me back in 1989.