Despite a week of continued momentum, media interest and online chatter, and much hype around the National Day of Protest, Idle No More posted a significant drop in online activity between January 13 and 19. A full analysis appears below. I’ve begun conducting a deeper analysis of sentiment. My focus is on public sentiment which excludes the most active participants in the chatter; the organizers and the most outspoken supporters and critics of the Idle No More movement. Expect to see the results of that effort in the next few of days. My analysis covers the movement since its beginnings in December. All analysis was performed using Marketwire/Sysomos Heartbeat.
The January 16 National Day of Protest wasn’t enough to help Idle No More traffic keep pace with last week’s online activity. Overall, there was a 34% drop in online mentions (from 233,320 last week to 154,703 this). Twitter activity took the biggest dive, dropping 37% (from 205,806 to 129,411). Meanwhile, Facebook mentions dropped 9% (from 17,302 to 15,702), mentions on blogs decreased 13% (from 1,946 to 1,689), online news articles were down 9% (from 3,802 to 3,456) and there was a 19% decrease in new YouTube videos (from 1,036 to 840). Only forums including Reddit posted an increase; 5% (from 3,426 to 3,605). The National Day of Protest saw a peak of online activity between 3-4pmET. Chatter was fairly active most of the day and remained so well into the evening. The 10 most active tweeters that day accounted for 1,366 of the 32,523 tweets (4%). The three most active tweeters that day were @tersestuff (296), @chuddles11 (178) and @freezeflameinc (153). The was a considerable drop in online chatter mentioning Chief Theresa Spence. I had expected this number to hold or even increase from last week given the debate over the relevance of her hunger strike. Instead, chatter plummeted 63% (from 14,673 mentions last week to 5,490 this). Another surprise was how quickly the #Ottawapiskat hashtag vanished into near-irrelevance. I expected it to settle comfortably in to the ongoing conversation. It peaked on January 14 with 24,140 tweets and notched only 153 yesterday. Male participants continue to edge up in the gender splits. After a strong showing by female participants in the early weeks of the movement, the male contributors have gradually dipped the scales, reaching their peak-to-date of 55%, up from 53% last week. The new hashtag #1100kmtrektoottawa is found its way on the list of the most popular hashtags. At the risk of being accused of being a cynic, I believe the most popular tweet of last week is just as likely so for its mention of Internet Activist Aaron Swartz as it is for its mention of #IdleNoMore.