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Using Twitter to predict Oscar winners, week 2

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Last week, we posted the first round of our Oscar predictions. This week, we want to take things a step further with our analysis.

First, here are updated results for this week’s tweet numbers. In this post, we’re going to focus on the Best Picture Race. We’ll come back to Best Actor and Best Actress next week.

There has been some movement in these results since last week. This week, Black Swam came out ahead of the King’s Speech in the three volume-based categories – overall reach, number of tweets, and number of unique contributors. The Social Network moved up to #3 in the reach race. Interestingly, the reach:exposure category includes films that don’t show up in the top five of any of the volume categories. The reach:exposure ratio reflects the diversity of the audience seeing tweets about the film, so this suggests that a wide variety of people are receiving tweets about these three films.

We recognize that simple metrics like tweet volume and reach probably aren’t enough to tell us who is going to win. The Oscars aren’t chosen by a popular vote or by members of the viewing public; they’re selected by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. So, for the purposes of our analysis, we should pay more attention to the tweets posted by people who have some insight into the Academy and what it looks for.

We’ll start with this list of 10 influential film critics on Twitter. So far, only three of these 10 critics have tweeted about who they think will win the Academy Award for Best Picture. And all three of them think it will be The King’s Speech. We’ll check back in on this list next week and see if they’ve changed their minds.

So, what does this mean? Given these results, Black Swan and The King’s Speech seem to be the top contenders for the Best Picture Oscar. However, Inception and The Social Network are not too far behind. There are still three weeks until the Academy Awards, so we’ll be back next week with another round of analysis.

Written by admin

February 4th, 2011 at 4:37 pm

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Using tweets to predict Oscar winners, week 1

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The nominees for the 83rd Academy Awards were announced earlier this week. The winners will be chosen on February 27. In the meantime, we thought it would be interesting to use TweetReach data to predict who might win.

There are a number of data points we could use to predict the winners. For this initial experiment, we’re going to look at four metrics: reach, exposure, tweets, and contributors. We’ll start with a baseline in today’s post and check in on the numbers every Friday until awards weekend. Then we’ll conduct a more thorough analysis and see how we did after the Oscars are handed out.

The Metrics

Reach. Reach is the number of unique Twitter streams that have had tweets about a particular topic delivered to them. Our Oscars reach hypothesis: The movie/actor that has reached the most unique people on Twitter will win the award.

Tweet Volume. The simplest predictive metric is overall tweet volume. Our hypothesis: The movie/actor that is tweeted about the most will win the Oscar.

Contributors. The number of unique contributors could tell us something about a movie’s chances for success at the Oscars. Hypothesis: The movie/actor with the most different people tweeting about it will win the Oscar.

Reach:Exposure. The ratio of reach to exposure gives us an idea of how diverse the Twitter audience for a topis is; higher R:E ratios indicate a wider and more diverse group of people received tweets about a topic. Hypothesis: The movie/actor with the highest R:E ratio will win the Oscar.

The Nominees Are…

We’ll look at the big awards, since they’ll generate the most Twitter traffic and give us the most data to analyze. This year’s nominees are:

And The Winners Are…

Interpretation and Other Thoughts

In the first week, the frontrunners are The King’s Speech and Inception for Best Picture, Colin Firth and Jesse Eisenberg for Best Actor, and Natalie Portman and Michelle Williams for Best Actress. We also wouldn’t discount True Grit in the Best Picture category, or James Franco and Annette Bening in the Best Actor and Actress categories.

One thing we notice immediately is that some of these queries are pretty noisy. For example, James Franco gets tweeted about a lot and many of those tweets aren’t specifically about the Academy Awards or his performance in 127 Hours. But for others, almost all the tweets about them are related to the Oscars or the movie. Jennifer Lawrence is a good example of this – nearly all the tweets about Jennifer relate to Winter’s Bone or the Academy Awards.

Basically, some of the nominees are so famous that it’s difficult to sort through general tweets about them to find only the ones related to the awards. Some of the numbers above reflect this, particularly when it comes to tweet volume. This applies to James Franco, Natalie Portman, and Nicole Kidman – they were in top spots for several metrics that relate directly to popularity. As we get closer to February 27, we anticipate that a higher percentage of tweets about the actors and actresses will be related to the Oscars, which will help with the noise. In addition, we’ll work on filtering out more non-relevant tweets.

The four metrics used in this post (reach, reach:exposure, tweet volume, and number of unique contributors) are just our first step in predicting this year’s Oscar winners. Next week, we’ll get into a more sophisticated analysis and see what else we can learn from how Twitter is talking about the Academy Award nominees.

Written by Jenn D

January 28th, 2011 at 6:56 pm

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