Visualising the #ili2011 Twitter archive

Over on UK Web Focus Brian Kelly has posted What Twitter Told Us About ILI 2011which gives a breakdown of twitter statistics the recent Internet Librarian International conference #ili2011. These statistics give some of the headline figures of number of tweets, top tweeters etc from Andy Powell’s Summarizr interface for the TwapperKeeper service (recent bought by Hootsuite).

But what if you wanted to see what @bethanar said that got her mentioned/replied to over 140 times? What if you wanted to see how some of the other twitter conversations outside the top 10 evolved?What if you wanted to extend the conversation beyond the conference by providing easy ways to people to amplify key messages or reply to statements made during the event?

Getting value from Twitter archives is something I’ve looked at in the past with the Twitter subtitling experiments of conference keynotes/TV (not surprisingly there appear to be a growing number of Twitter/TV projects springing up – did Tony and I miss a trick? One to tell the grandkids). My latest offering uses my work in network visualisation to provide an interface for entire events.

Below is what the #ili2011 archive of almost 3,000 tweets by 434 people look like when you start connecting the replies and mentions made to other people (over 1,000 in total). And if you click on a node you can actually drill down into what they tweeted and the replies/mentions they received in the box shown on the right.

TAGSExplorer of #ili2011

Those with keen eyes will spot that this screenshot is running in a browser window and if you want to play head here for the low res version without mention connections or here if you want to test the capabilities of your graphics card (you’ll need a modern browser to see anything as SVG, despite being a recognised standard for years has only just made it into IE9).

Where is this data coming from? Well it isn’t TwapperKeeper, which also stopped offering an API or data export some time ago. No instead nowadays I suck interesting hashtags into a Google Spreadsheet which sits quietly in the cloud waiting for me to see how I, or anyone else, can twist and pull the data into a more readable shape. You can read more about the technology behind this in TAGSExplorer: Interactively visualising Twitter conversations archived from a Google Spreadsheet and also discover how you can visualise your own Google Spreadsheet of tweets.

PS In Brian’s post he said:

If you carry out a sentiment analysis of the archive of the tweets from last week’s #ili2011 (Internet Librarian International) conference I suspect you’ll find a lot of positive comments

I can confirm by using my Using the Viralheat Sentiment API and a Google Spreadsheet of conference tweets to find out how that keynote went down recipe that there were a lot of positive comments 🙂



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  • Jo Alcock

    This is really interesting! It ties together two events I attended last week – ILI2011 (obviously!) and LIS DREaM, where I learnt about social network analysis. It’s great to see it applied in practice.

    • Martin Hawksey

      Hi Jo – Interesting to hear you say that. Think you’ll see a lot more of this sort of thing over the next 12 months. Already Google+ has Ripples which lets to playback the social interaction around a G+ message.

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