By February 14, 2013 2 Comments Read More →

Commander Hadfield is cool, smart and Canadian!

CMDRHadfieldTo most of the world, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is known as Commander Hadfield. The truly geeky know him as @cmdr_hadfield. The latter is his Twitter handle; a handle that’s as celebrated as the man himself. And, let me say this… we Canadians are mighty proud of our Commander Hadfield in a way we probably haven’t felt since Marc Garneau became the first Canadian in space nearly 30 years ago.

My friend Dennis Van Staalduinen (pronounced stahl-dine-in) kicked off a conversation with the Tweets in space: Col. Chris Hadfield takes Social Media higher post to his blog, yesterday. That led to a discussion about the amount of chatter the Commander is inspiring. His breathtaking photos, videos, reflections, live chats and music have energized and inspired a far reaching conversation.

You could say Commander Hadfield is quickly becoming to space/humanity geeks what Justin Bieber has become for young pop music fans. Commander Hadfield is cooler and smarter, though. Just sayin’.

I was asked to pull together some statistics on the Commander’s Twitter following. Evan Hadfield, the Commander’s son, is also sharing some stats online through his Twitter account, @evan_hadfield. Thanks for sharing the data and your dad with us!

The graphs and charts that follow were generated using Sysomos MAP. They focus on Twitter which is where most of the activity is taking place over the period of December 20 through February 14 inclusive (which means the activity for February 14 is incomplete; I generated the reports at 8:00amET). I threw in a quick analysis of blog posts which mention the Commander’s Twitter handle.

There is plenty of sharing and chatting taking place on Facebook (but Facebook’s recent changes to their API are affecting search results), Reddit and other digital gathering places, as well.

130214-CMDRHadfield-twitter

130214-CMDRHadfield-followergrowth

130214-CMDRHadfield-followers 130214-CMDRHadfield-blogs

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About the Author:

Mark Blevis is a digital public affairs strategist and President of FullDuplex.ca, an integrated digital communications, public affairs and research company. His work focuses on the role of digital tools and culture on issues and reputation management. He also leads research into how Canadian opinions are shaped through online content and interactions.
  • http://www.begtodiffer.com/ Dennis “DenVan” VanStaalduinen

    Interesting breakdown. Thanks Mark!

    It still strikes me that while Commander Hadfield is clearly a Canadian superstar – and treasure – his incredible work of popularizing space travel has yet to hit the “tipping point” of online attention outside of Canada. It’ll be interesting to see if that happens, and what extra “booster” would push him into orbit.

    I have seen a fair bit of sharing of his Valentines content today. Be interesting to see if has any effect.

    Okay, yes, I know. It’s not fair. Canadians don’t value our celebrities until they “make it” abroad. But it’s interesting that Commander Hadfield and the Canadian Space Agency are creating content around famous Canadians like William Shatner and the BNL that have done just that. And countries are branded by the brands they create…
    So yeah, give me Col. Hadfield over Bieber any day.

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