At its current rate of descent, one has to wonder how much longer the online component of the Idle No More movement will remain active. The movement posted a drop in online activity for the fourth week in a row, posting a weekly total just higher than the average daily total from just a few weeks ago. In all, #IdleNoMore online chatter has fallen 84% in four weeks, suggesting public interest and internal energy are currently shadows of their former selves. An activity-to-date graph appears at the bottom of this post.
What follows is the analysis of Idle No More online activity for February 3 through 9, inclusive. All analysis was performed using Marketwire/Sysomos Heartbeat.
There was a 49% drop in all online mentions from last week (from 72,367 last week to 36,921 this). Twitter mentions dropped 50% (from 60,531 to 30,007), blog posts were down 46% (from 880 to 478), Facebook fell 49% (from 8,897 to 4,548) and YouTube videos posted the greatest loss with a 59% drop in new content (from 406 to 167). Mentions on online forums including Reddit increased 11% (from 531 to 594). Online news mentions remained unchanged (from 1,122 to 1,127).
There were two sub-4,000 tweet days this past week. The last time Idle No More recorded fewer than 4,000 tweets in a day was December 9, the day before the movement took hold online.
The 30,007 tweets issued this past week came from 9,066 unique Twitter accounts; an average of 3.3 tweets per account.
The three Twitter accounts which issued the most tweets tagged #IdleNoMore, #NativeWinter or including the text “Idle No More” were @idlenomoreyeg (542 tweets), @chuddles11 (294) and @tersestuff (252). They combine for 1,088 tweets or nearly 4% of relevant tweets for the week.
For those who felt the end of Chief Theresa Spence’s liquid diet protest would also bring about an end to public confusion of the relationship between the Idle No More movement and Chief Spence, and First Nations leadership, there was a surprise on Friday (Feb 8). Chief Spence broke her recent silence to publicly encourage the movement to keep its momentum. The announcement caused a minor increase in mentions of the Chief, but did little to increase online buzz around the movement — even as Twitter mentions of the Chief spike on Feb 9 (one day behind the media attention), Idle No More tweets reached an all-time low since the movement began that same day.
It’s worth noting Senator Brazeau was mentioned in 1,036 Idle No More tweets this past week; nearly 2.5 times the mentions of Chief Spence. Granted, they’re likely not the mentions the now-independent Senator is particularly pleased about (unlike earlier criticisms which many people believed he enjoyed as part of his public persona).
Gender splits became more neutral this week as female representation increased 2% resulting in a 51%/49% male-female split.
I would have expected Rolling Stone magazine’s tweet pointing to its article on the #IdleNoMore movement would have driven a significant rush in traffic. While the tweet was the most popular #IdleNoMore tweet of the week, it didn’t drive nearly as much activity as I would have expected. Which means another possible sign the movement is losing both public attention and internal momentum.
The graph that follows shows daily Twitter activity (Record Count), the number of unique participants contributing to the daily Twitter activity (Unique) and the number of new participants (New). New participants appear on the graph only once on the date they issued their first Idle No More tweet. The graph covers the period of November 25 through February 9.