One year ago, today, Canadian astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield (@cmdr_hadfield) left Earth to live aboard the International Space Station (ISS) for six months. The journey saw Commander Hadfield become the first Canadian to command the ISS.
Little did anyone know Hadfield would become an international celebrity and ambassador for space travel and science. In fact, he may have (with the help of his son, Evan) made the space program sexy for the first time since the space shuttle Columbia took its first flight on April 12, 1981. He’s maintained that celebrity ever since and recently augmented that with the release of his amazing book An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth.
To mark this historic day, I’ve decided to brush the cobwebs from my blog and share a few statistics about Commander Hadfield’s online celebrity. I used Sysomos MAP to gather and analyse online mentions of Chris Hadfield from December 19, 2012 through December 19, 2013.
Twitter was by far the most active platform for connecting with and spreading content issued by Chris Hadfield. Over 2.1 million tweets were issued (including his own 3,384 tweets).
Here’s an interesting fact, the average number of relevant tweets per day over the year was 5,770 (240/hour) which means Chris Hadfield’s contribution wouldn’t have filled a day in a year of his life in this particular case.
The biggest day of the year was May 13, the day after Hadfield’s YouTube video of Space Oddity went live. And the public went crazy for it, issuing 150,504 tweets about the video (which also mention his name).
Interest in Hadfield’s tweets and story was international, with people from all over the world tweeting and blogging about Hadfield and retweeting his content. Not surprisingly, Canadians accounted for the greatest portions of online activity (38.7%) followed by the US (20.5%) and the UK (16.4%).
As of 8:00amET today, Hadfield’s Space Oddity has been viewed 19,599,478 times (364,834 used YouTube’s “voting” tool to indicate they like the video while 4,283 registered their dislike). Incidentally, Hadfield’s tweet announcing the video is his most popular with 22,232 retweets and 10,795 favourites.
Hadfield’s second and third most-popular tweets featuring spectacular images from space (one of the many things Hadfield regularly shared) don’t add up to the popularity of the Space Oddity tweet.
I’ll share some more analysis over the coming days. A few interesting analysis requests have come in and I’m going to see if I can pull them off. They’ll take some time, though.
It’s a rare event that energizes the #cdnpoli Twitter chat on a weekend. Especially a long weekend. Yesterday provided just such an event.
With the intensification of the Senate expense scandal, particularly as it relates to Senator Mike Duffy and now-former PMO Chief of Staff Nigel Wright’s generous $90,000 to the Senator, yesterday’s #cdnpoli reached a fever pitch. In all, 17,129 tweets were issued; 9,408 were immediately identifiable as relevant to the aforementioned scandal. An average weekday in #cdnpoli chatter of late has been around 9,000 tweets from 5,000 to 6,000 sources; weekends often see less than half the weekday activity from 3,000 to 3,500 sources.
Also noteworthy is yesterday’s contributions skewed 61% male, 39% female — a slightly more balanced contribution rate than the 70/30 split typical of ongoing #cdnpoli chatter.
CDNpoli overall Twitter activity, May 19
CDNpoli daily activity April 20 through May 19 inclusive
Let’s contextualize that level of activity. There were 4,897 unique contributors to the complete chatter (an average of 3.5 tweets per person). Of those, 3,365 contributed to the chatter about the scandal (average 2.8/person). The top three contributors combined for 408 of the tweets about the scandal (4% of the traffic) — a committed bunch to be sure.
The chatter continues today. As of 12pmET, 4,565 tweets have been issued by 1,261 contributors on the scandal including an online effort generally with #PMHarperMustResign (some as #HarperMustResign). To contextualize that effort, 773 people have issue 3,447 tweets identifying issues with Prime Minister Harper, his caucus and their collective political missteps and calling for the resignation of the Prime Minister — that’s roughly 4.4 tweets per person.
UPDATE: As of 4:30pmET, there has been 12,476 #cdnpoli tweets today (3,267 sources); 7,407 (1,431 sources) of which are part of the campaign to get Stephen Harper to resign as Prime Minister.
UPDATE: Final tallies for May 20... 20,371 #CDNpoli tweets from 4,991 sources (~4/source), 10,715 of which were also tagged #PMHarperMustResign from 2,144 sources (~5/source); 4,475 #CDNpoli tweets from 2,148 sources were about the Senate/Duffy/Wright issue (~2.1/source).
CDNpoli overall Twitter activity, May 20
CDNpoli daily activity April 21 through May 20 inclusive
An online campaign that ran last July 1, Canada Day, called #DenounceHarper was a coordinated attempt to discredit the PM. The campaign attracted media attention for the volume of tweets issued that day causing the effort to become a Canadian “trend” on Twitter. The number of tweets, nearly 22,000, was impressive enough to attract the media attention. However, the number of issuers, just over 5,000 Twitter, suggests a vocal and committed bunch rather than one which inspired widespread participation.
The problem, if only one need be identified, is timing. True the issue is hot right now and the desire to strike is ripe. However, Canada Day and Victoria Day are hardly attractive days for people to put down their beer to tweet something political. Most Canadians engaging on social media today are focused on the day off from work, being with family and friends, and yes — even cracking open a cold beer and grilling something on the BBQ.
I’ll continue to monitor and provide periodic updates. Weekday CDNpoli analysis can be found at FullDuplex.ca. The weekly top-six issues list is included in my newsletter.
Analysis performed using Sysomos Heartbeat and Sysomos MAP.
It started shortly after 9am. Emails, tweets and direct messages from people eager to draw my attention to what turned out to be an epic day in Canadian politics. The issue that started the day? Tom Flanagan, former adviser to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, was the star of a video in which he seemed to stand with child pornographers. Oops. It’s been a costly day for him.
I haven’t done a complete analysis of the traffic. However, to fulfill an apparent curiosity by many political junkies, I ran a cursory analysis using Sysomos MAP.
As of 5pmET today, 9,613 Twitter users issued 18,656 tweets tagged with #cdnpoli. Of those, 1,491 users mentioned Mr. Flanagan in 3,544 tweets. Within Canada, 2,120 users mentioned Mr. Flanagan in 5,565 tweets (including those tagged with #cdnpoli).
Globally, including all Twitter accounts on which the users have not configured their location, 17,429 users issued 28,153 tweets which include the word Flanagan. While that number includes unrelated mentions, I’d wager a significant majority are specifically related to Mr. Flanagan’s remarks.
These two word clouds highlight of terms you’re likely to see if you decide to read the tweets. The first word cloud is based on tweets tagged with #cdnpoli. The second is all Canadian tweets mentioning Tom Flanagan which include those which aren’t tagged #cdnpoli.
Analysis performed using Marketwire/Sysomos MAP.
To 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.
Jack Layton tributes were held across the country yesterday, the first anniversary of his death. The tributes and commentary also poured out online. I used Marketwire/Sysomos MAP to do some analysis of the activity.
Here is a summary of what I observed.
- Jack Layton was mentioned or referenced online 10,159 times, yesterday.
- Twitter was the most active platform; 9,335 tweets were issued (95% from Canada) followed by 1,062 Facebook status updates, 358 news articles, 341 forum posts, 125 blog entries, 91 Google+ updates and 11 newly posted videos.
- Most Twitter participants came and went in a single tweet (79%). The more engaged participants broke out as follows: 18% issued 2-4 tweets, 2% issued 5-7 tweets and 1% were in for 8 or more tweets.
- Jack Layton tributes were nearly evenly split at roughly 52% male, 48% female. Most online political chatter skews nearly 70% male.
- There was very little ‘conversation’ on Twitter. Regular tweets (original content) accounted for 49% of Twitter traffic. Retweets, what I call the amplifier effect, accounted for 48% of the traffic. Only 3% were replies or identifiable conversation.
- Conservative MP Laurie Hawn and interim Liberal leader Bob Rae were the only non-NDP MPs to issue Jack Layton tribute tweets. Noticeably absent… Prime Minister Stephen Harper, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair and Green Party leader Elizabeth May.
- Jian Ghomeshi issued the most popular online tribute. His “We miss you Jack. #JackLayton #DearJack” tweet was retweeted 221 times and earned 30 favourites.
Of all the buzzgraphs from the different online services, the one resulting from Jack Layton tweets is by far the most interesting. It shows the density of combined terms in tweets. The relationships between the words is indicated by three types of connecting lines: a thick solid line for the strongest connections, a thinner solid line for medium-strength connections and a thin broken line for the weaker connections.
It’s unusual to see a buzzgraph with so many deep connections as those exhibited by Twitter tributes to Jack Layton. Knowing that nearly half of all tweets were original content and nearly half were retweets (the amplifier effect), this buzzgraphs shows how much people share common memories, feelings and experiences regarding Jack and the various tributes held across the country.
The following video was the standout tribute among the 11 newly uploaded videos.
Analysis performed using Marketwire/Sysomos MAP.
Photo: Remembering Jack Layton at Nathan Phillips Square, One Week Later uploaded to Flickr by Jackman Chiu.