Edmonton Twittersphere: One Week, Three Big Events

There certainly has been a lot to talk about over the last seven days! The royal wedding, the death of Osama bin Laden, and the 41st Canadian federal election have all been in the news around the world. They’ve been the hot topics on Twitter as of late too. I decided to take a closer look at Edmonton’s tweeting of the three events.

First, here is the number of tweets about each topic, plotted per hour over the last week. From the chart, we can see that the Bin Laden and election news was spikier than the royal wedding (think: people tweeting as soon as they heard about Bin Laden versus people tweeting over the three or four hours the wedding took).

For the data labeled #RoyalWedding I took any tweet that contained “wedding”, “middleton”, “cambridge”, “william”, or “kate”. For the data labeled Bin Laden, I took any tweet that contained “bin laden”, “binladen”, “osama”, or “obama”. For the data labeled “#elxn41” I took any tweet that contained “elxn41” or “yegfed”. This definition applies to the rest of the data in this post as well.

Here’s a closer look at the royal wedding tweets:

Obviously one of the more interesting aspects of the royal wedding was that it took place in the middle of the night for us here in Edmonton. This chart gives you a sense of that. The orange line is the number of tweets posted per hour on April 29th, and you can see there were quite a few more tweets posted in the middle of the night than either the day before or after (the blue lines).

Here’s a word cloud that shows all of the local tweets posted on April 29th (29,625). You can see the wedding definitely stands out:

The most consistently talked about topic of the three has definitely been the election. We set a new record for the number of tweets posted in a single day on election day (May 2) at 37,664. That’s fitting, considering our record day last year was also an election day. This chart compares the two:

Obviously more tweets were posted overall on May 2, because there are more local users on Twitter now. What’s interesting to me is that the number of election-specific tweets is about the same for both!

Here’s a word cloud for election day:

Though more people tweeted about the election over the week, it was the Bin Laden news that got everyone tweeting at the same time. I think it’s the new local record holder for peak tweets per hour:

This chart is imperfect, of course – it changes depending on the search keywords you use. But I think it still illustrates the point. For Crosby’s goal, I used “canada”, “crosby”, “goal”, and “score”.

Finally, here’s a word cloud for May 1, the day the Osama bin Laden news broke:

Even though the news came out very late in the day, you can see that it was the most talked about topic of the day.

I wonder what the next big event on Twitter in Edmonton will be!