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.

  1. Jack Layton was mentioned or referenced online 10,159 times, yesterday.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Jack Layton tributes were nearly evenly split at roughly 52% male, 48% female. Most online political chatter skews nearly 70% male.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

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