It’s now been two months since the Idle No More movement took shape. I’ve conducted regular analysis of the movement since shortly after it began, looking at weekly traffic, trends, demographics and geographics. I have not yet conducted analysis of the full movement. Today I will be publishing a number of posts, each looking at a particular aspect of the online movement.

I conducted analysis using Marketwire/Sysomos Heartbeat and MAP, and a custom tool I’m having developed which I call Compass.

In all, 113,409 unique tweeters issued 867,614 tweets between November 25, 2012 and January 19, 2013.

The graph the follows compares the volume of daily Twitter traffic (“Total tweets”) to the number of unique Twitter handles issuing tweets each day (“Unique sources”) and how many first time participants issued relevant tweets (“New sources”).


The most active day was January 11, producing nearly 58,000 relevant tweets. That was the very cold day during which multiple rallies were held while some First Nations Chiefs met with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, then later with Governor General David Johnston. The National Day of Action (January 16) was the second most active day with 32,000 tweets.

While the wide gap between contributors and contributions might suggest routine participation from a large group, analysis of January 11 Twitter traffic reveals 72% of that day’s Twitter traffic came from accounts issuing only a single tweet. That means 40,868 tweets were isolated chatter. In fact, 61% of traffic that day was retweets (amplification of other tweets), 33% was ‘original’ content and only 5% was replies (or something resembling conversational engagement).

Data was collected using Sysomos Heartbeat. I created a query to grab online content which included mentions of idlenomore, Idle No More or nativewinter. While other keywords and hashtags have come and gone at various times during the movement, I only captured those which appeared alongside the aforementioned query.

While I have collected and performed some analysis of the Idle No More movement on Facebook, blogs, forums, YouTube and online news sites, the analysis I’ve published today focuses only on Twitter. This is in a a large part due to the volume and velocity of the traffic. I plan to conduct additional analysis which I may or may not share on my blog.

Index of my Idle No More at two months analysis series: