Archive for the ‘Events’ Category
Update: Twitter was right. It’s a Romney-Ryan ticket.
It seems very likely that Mitt Romney is going to select Paul Ryan as his running mate for the Republican Presidential nomination. And it’s looking like Twitter predicted this. We hinted that we’d been tracking Republican VP Candidates with the screenshot accompanying the announcement of our new dashboard earlier this week. As you can clearly see from the updated dashboard below, Ryan started to pull away from the potential VP pack three days ago in terms of unique reach on Twitter. Of the pool of likely candidates, Ryan’s seen the greatest increase in reach over the past month, gaining a 65% increase in reach in the past 30 days. In addition, he’s seen the largest gains in both the number of total tweets and unique people talking about him recently.
So, did Twitter predict Romney’s decision correctly? Well, we’ll know soon enough, as Romney is expected to officially announce his vice presidential running mate tomorrow. We find Twitter’s potential to predict (or not) cultural and current events very interesting, so we’ll be following along and will post a more in-depth analysis next week, so more very soon.
The BlogWorld and New Media Expo 2012 was held earlier this month in New York and we were happy to have worked with the conference organizers to track the tweets during the event.
So what was Twitter buzzing about? During the conference from June 5 through June 7, the official #BWENY hashtag was tweeted over 18,000 times by more than 4,600 people, generating a unique reach of over 6 million and almost 87 million impressions.
Like many of the conferences we track, each day saw a huge spike in tweets during the first hour of conference (around 9 a.m.) each day, a big drop during lunch hour, and an increase in activity around 2 p.m. There was low Twitter activity during the evening parties as attendees took their discussion offline and continued networking in person.
The tweet with the highest exposure came from Ted Rubin:
And, overall, the most active contributors to the Twitter backchannel were:
At the end of day two of the conference, Blog World founders Rick Calvert and Dave Cynkin announced that going forward, the conference would be renamed New Media Expo (NMX). They described the change to better reflect the changing industry and the broader community of bloggers, podcasters, and Web TV producers.
What do you think? We’re excited to see how the event evolves!
This weekend, we tracked tweets about the 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards. During the three-hour broadcast on Sunday, April 1, 2012, we tracked 214,407 tweets from more than 96K contributors that reached more than 43.5 million unique Twitter accounts. Tweet volume peaked at 3,686 tweets per minute during the show.
The most retweeted tweet of the night was from @Country_Words and received 1,397 retweets.
The most buzzed about Twitter moments from the ACM Awards show were:
- Song of the Year goes to Eli Young Band for “Crazy Girl”
- Entertainer of the Year goes to Taylor Swift
- Album of the Year goes to Miranda Lambert for “Four the Record”
- Vocal Group of the Year goes to Lady Antebellum
- Male Vocalist of the Year goes to Blake Shelton
- Single Record of the Year goes to Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson for ”Don’t You Wanna Stay”
- New Artist of the Year goes to Scotty McCreery
- Female Vocalist of the Year goes to Miranda Lambert
Overall, thousands of tweets were posted about Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift, and Reba McEntire. Shelton and McEntire were the show’s hosts, while Lambert and Swift were two of the night’s big winners. Finally, here’s the infographic we prepared for the 2012 ACMs (click to see full size).
What did you think? Did you watch? What was your favorite moment from the awards show?
Here in the United States, we’re right in the middle of the Republican primaries as the country tries to decide who the GOP nominee for President will be in our election later this year. One of the more interesting conversations around the 2012 Presidential election is the relationship between what people say on Twitter and what they do at the polls. Can we use Twitter conversations to predict election winners? Or, if they can’t predict results, what can tweets tell us about how potential voters feel about the candidates?
With Super Tuesday approaching and the GOP candidate field still wide open, we’ve been tracking tweets about the six top candidates for the Republican Presidential nomination since January 1 – Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum. From those tweets, we built an interactive visualization of how Twitter talks about the GOP candidates, and how that relates to poll numbers over time.
Check out our interactive Republican primary Twitter tracker here or click on the screenshot below.
To create this visualization, we’re using a set of TweetReach Pro Trackers to track Twitter conversation about each of the candidates, along with our API to update the visualization daily. In the visualization, we’ve mapped the number of unique Twitter users talking about a candidate to the y-axis, polling results to the x-axis, and tweet volume to the circle radius. Polling data is from RealClearPolitics.
This post is by Jerry Chen, our Lead Engineer. Look for more in-depth technical posts like these in our TweetReach Tech category.
And of course, we did! Check out the TweetReach Academy Awards Explorer.
On the other end of the stack, we were revisiting Apache Cassandra. Since last we took a look at the datastore, it graduated from Incubator, got counters, hit a 1.0 version milestone, and continued to capture the hearts (and columns) of millions. We knew our chart data would be broken down by a time component, so this project would be a great fit for Cassandra.
After a few sketches about what to show and how to show it, we decided to capture tweets containing any mention of the Oscars, and then break them down by a few categories and nominees. For each minute we would measure the volume about a particular nominee, and provide a slider so the user could view the exact volume at a particular minute in time.
But first, how is datta formed?
From the beginning
Our journey begins, as with many things on the Internet, with text. We wrote Flamingo to consume the Twitter Streaming API (and later on, Gnip PowerTrack). Incoming tweets get appended to an event log, and optionally resque jobs are scheduled based on subscriptions. Normally, we use the latter for our larger pipeline (which includes search, OLAP, contributor and reach calculations), but for this special project we fork the events log and stream it to a separate server.
For moving log files around, there’s Apache Flume, Facebook Scribe, and maybe even time-tested syslog (here’s a great post by Urban Airship), but in the spirit of getting the job done, we can get away with tailing over SSH (and maybe wrapping that in a
nibbler$ tail -F /var/log/flamingod/events.log \ | pv -l \ | ssh -C parabox 'cat - >> /var/log/events.log'
(We use the capital
-F flag for
tail so to follow symlinks even if their destination changes, and
pv is a great utility which will be explained shortly.) Meanwhile, on the destination server, we employ
tail again and stream the events log into a ruby script which reads from
STDIN, for the actual data insertion into Cassandra.
The schema is simple. For each tweet, we see if there are any matching terms. If there are matching terms, we extract the timestamp of the tweet, get it into its minute-resolution “time bucket” format (
YYYYMMDDHHmm) and insert it into Cassandra. The schema ends up like this:
Optionally, we keep the available time buckets in a special super column called “index.” This is preferable to trying to list all the super columns under the row key. Thus, using the Ruby cassandra gem, an insertion looks like the following:
i64() is a function that packs 64-bit unsigned integers, which in this case is the tweet ID.
To get the volume at a given minute, count the columns:
>> client.count_columns(:volume,"hugo","201202241201",:count=>MAX_COLUMNS) 305
:count is 100, so if we have a magnitude greater than 100, it’ll get capped. I’ve set
MAX_COLUMNS to something high like
Streaming Insertions with Ruby
The actual processing task is straightforward, but the script is optimized to do the least amount of work possible. This is the key to high-throughput: don’t waste your time and if you can correctly get away with skipping a line, get away with it. Based on the nominees/terms we’re filtering out, we define the group of regular expressions to match against, and then combine them, e.g.
[/hugo/, /artist/] becomes
/hugo|artist/. Using the group regular expression as a first pass means not having to parse JSON unless we absolutely must.
The crux of the code uses
"Thu Mar 06 10:26:58 +0000 2008") to determine the time bucket, e.g.
"200803061026". Since consecutive tweets are likely to be close in time, and perhaps in the same time bucket, we take the substring of
created_at timestamp up to the minute and memoize the time bucket. In other words, if both the current and last tweets had
created_at strings beginning with
"Thu Mar 06 10:26", then skip parsing the timestamp and reuse the last time bucket. While this may seem like a micro-optimization, it’s with this mindset that we can maintain a processing rate of hundreds of tweets per second.
How do we measure performance? We could use Ruby’s Benchmark module and measure timing between various points. For a larger picture by way of throughput, we write the insertion script to consume
STDIN and combine use the incredibly handy utility called Pipe Viewer, which provides information like throughput about anything that’s being piped:
$ pv -l event.log | ruby insert.rb 26.3k 0:01:27 [303.4/s ] [===============> ] 0:01:30
In this example,
pv starts off by counting the lines (
-l), and then keeps track of lines seen, the duration and the rate. So far, 26k lines have been processed at a rate of 303k/s, and
pv estimates about 1m30 left.
It also works in streaming mode, which is how we use it with a live stream of tweets:
$ tail -F event.log | pv -l | ruby insert.rb 26.3k 0:01:27 [303.4/s ] [ <=> ]
Meeting in the Middle
All in all, it was a whirlwind expedition with two great pieces of open source — Cassandra and d3 — the latter of which deserves its own blog post. Cassandra took a hearty portion of memory but barely broke a sweat handling both insertions and queries.
Oh and by the way, if you want to build visualizations like this or wrangle terabytes of data, we’re hiring!
The 84th annual Academy Awards were held this weekend. As we’ve seen in years past, Twitter has a lot to say about the Academy Award winners, losers (non-winning nominees?), and the show in general.
This year, we tracked tweets about the Oscars – more than 2 million of them - throughout the show’s broadcast on Sunday, February 26, 2012, and collected them in our Academy Awards Twitter Explorer. Click around the explorer to see when tweets were posted about nominees in six of the main categories, including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress. Or, read on for our take on what Twitter thought of the 2012 Academy Awards.
Twitter’s top ten favorite Oscar 2012 moments were, in order:
- Cirque du Soleil performance. The audience seemed entranced by the acrobatic dancers, and so did Twitter.
- Octavia Spencer wins Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Help. She even got a standing ovation!
- Hugo wins for Best Visual Effects. And a bunch of other awards too, but this category generated the most tweets.
- Meryl Streep wins Best Actress for The Iron Lady. This is a bit of surprise, as many expected Viola Davis to win this category. Regardless, Meryl is lovely and thanks her hairdresser.
- The Artist wins Best Picture. No surprise whatsoever here. And everyone loves Uggie the dog.
- Zach Galifianakis and Will Ferrell present Best Original Song award to Bret McKenzie for The Muppets. Bret’s work in Flight of the Conchords makes him popular on Twitter. Not to mention, Zach and Will are pretty funny guys.
- Christopher Plummer wins Best Supporting Actor. At 82, he’s only two years younger than the Oscars themselves.
- Jennifer Lopez and her possible wardrobe malfunction. Was that a shadow or something else? Twitter seems to think it was not a shadow.
- Jean Dujardin wins Best Actor for The Artist. Another unsurprising win. Jean seems tickled to have won, and thanks the audience in French during his speech.
- Angelina Jolie presents Best Adapted Screenplay to The Descendants. Angie’s provocative pose and its subsequent imitation by Jim Rash (another Twitter favorite because of his role on Community) got a big laugh.
During the three-hour awards show, we tracked 2.05 million tweets about the Oscars, with the biggest spike at 18,718 tweets in one minute (during the Cirque du Soleil performance). These numbers are up quite a bit from last year, when the 2011 Oscars garnered 1.27 million tweets and a maximum spike of 11,780 tweets per minute.
The nominees with the most Twitter mentions during the show were:
- Meryl Streep – 74,793 tweets
- Octavia Spencer – 59,957
- Christopher Plummer – 41,107
- Jean Dujardin – 23,614
- Rooney Mara – 23,233
- Brad Pitt – 18,702
- Viola Davis – 17,651
- Woody Allen – 14,280
- George Clooney – 13,252
- Martin Scorsese – 11,328
The top three films nominated for Best Picture, by tweet volume:
- Hugo – 110,179 tweets
- The Artist – 78,509
- The Help – 23,585
For more information about our interactive explorer, read this blog post about how and what we tracked.
Want to know what Twitter talked about during this year’s Academy Awards broadcast? We’ve been tracking Oscars tweets live and have prepared a cool visualization of those tweets so you can see – as it happened – which Oscar-nominated movies, actors and directors Twitter is talking about throughout the show! Click here or on the image below to see the tweets. Read on for more about how and what we’re tracking.
We tracked all tweets about the 84th Academy Awards during the awards show broadcast from 8:30 p.m. EST through 11:30 p.m. EST on Sunday, February 26, 2012. This includes uses of the #Oscars hashtag, @TheAcademy Twitter account, and any general mentions of the Oscars or Academy Awards.
You can drill into tweets about nominees for the following six Oscar categories:
- Best Picture
- Best Actor in a Leading Role
- Best Actress in a Leading Role
- Best Actor in a Supporting Role
- Best Actress in a Supporting Role
- Best Director
The large, colorful stream graph shows how many tweets are posted about each nominee every minute, grouped by award category. You can use the navigation bar at the top to change from one category to another. And you can scroll across the graph to see minute-by-minute details for that category. The smaller gray graph at the bottom shows overall Oscars-related tweet volume.
After the show, we posted our full analysis of Oscar night’s most buzzed-about people and events.
The 54th Annual Grammy Awards were held in Los Angeles last weekend on Sunday, February 12, 2012. More than 39 million viewers tuned in to watch their favorite bands, musicians and artists come together for a few hours during what many refer to as “music’s biggest night.”
During the broadcast on Sunday, the official #GRAMMYs hashtag was tweeted 2.1 million times by more than 700K people, generating a unique reach of nearly 60 million. At its peak, use of the #GRAMMYs hashtag spiked up to 18,000 tweets per minute.
Twitter buzzed about…
Check out this stream graph of tweets about the most popular artists (click through for the interactive version). Each colored layer represents tweets about one artist. The spikes on the graph illustrate tweet volume throughout the show.
The most-talked about artists during the 2012 Grammy Awards were:
- Adele: 340K tweets
- Chris Brown: 152K tweets
- Nicki Minaj: 85K tweets
- Rihanna: 81K tweets
- Taylor Swift: 68K tweets
- Whitney Houston: 66K tweets
- Bruno Mars: 60K tweets
- Foo Fighters: 52K tweets
- Lady Gaga: 43K tweets
- Katy Perry: 41K tweets
Whitney Houston passed away suddenly on Saturday, which had a big impact on this year’s Grammys. The show’s touching tribute to the singer generated a lot of buzz on Twitter as fans and friends remembered Whitney and her music; there were more than 66,000 tweets about Whitney during the show.
Adele was the night’s big winner, taking home all six of the Grammys for which she was nominated. She also garned the most Twitter attention of any artist; Adele was mentioned in 340K tweets last night! Many felt that Adele’s performance was the show’s best, especially since it was her first major appearance since she had vocal cord surgery last November. In particular, many Twitterers mentioned how strong her voice sounded, and how they preferred Adele’s simple vocal performance to some of the night’s other, more choreographed numbers.
Chris Brown ignited a great deal of controversy at this year’s awards, appearing at the Grammys for the first time since he was arrested for abusing his then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009. The more than 150K tweets about his two Grammy performances last night ranged from disbelief and anger at his inclusion to support from his fans.
Nicki Minaj generated an entirely different kind of controversy with her red carpet entrance and subsequent performance of her new song, “Roman Holiday.” Viewer opinions varied, with some finding it interesting, bold or weird, while others (like the Catholic Church) found it offensive.
What did you think of the 2012 Grammy Awards? What was your favorite performance?
Interested in stream graphs? Give this paper by Byron and Wattenberg a read.
Last weekend, we worked with ESPN to track tweets about the 2012 Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado, held January 26 through January 29, 2012. It was a big event, accumulating 171,373 tweets over the four days of competition!
During last summer’s X Games, we tracked 188K tweets from 97K contributors, for an overall reach of 37.7 million. This year’s Winter X Games generated 171K tweets from 100K contributors and an overall reach of 37.9 million. Two days into these games, here were the stats:
Sadly, freeskier and X Games gold medalist Sarah Burke died a week before the games. ESPN aired a tribute for Sarah on Thursday night and the #CelebrateSarah hashtag was used in more than 3,500 tweets during the games.
Sunday, January 29, was a big day for the games, featuring the final competitions for two fan favorites – the Snowmobile Best Trick and Men’s Snowboard Superpipe. Athletes like Heath Frisby, Shaun White, and Justin Hoyer generated a lot of Twitter buzz, and Heath’s first-ever snowmobile front flip resulted in the highest tweet spike of the entire games (1,634 tweets per minute).
By the end of the Winter X Games, the most retweeted tweet was from @espn and referred to snowboarder Shaun White’s perfect score in the Snowboard Superpipe Final. It got 1,428 retweets and generated 3.3 million impressions.
It was a great four days! We’re already looking forward to next year.
The results are in – the Golden Globes were held last night and the Twitter traffic was off the charts! TweetReach, in partnership with mhCarter Consulting and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, tracked and analyzed all of the tweets during the broadcast of the 69th annual awards show.
We watched for all mentions of Golden Globes during the broadcast and with close to 1 million tweets from almost 300,000 contributors generating over 2.2 billion impressions, the results came in at three times the Twitter volume we saw in 2011.
While “The Artist” and “The Descendants” walked away with most of the awards, what tweets drove the buzz? Check out the infographic below for the details!