State of the Edmonton Twittersphere 2012 – Overview

Welcome to the State of the Edmonton Twittersphere for 2012, my look at the intersection of Twitter and Edmonton in 2012. You can see my previous annual recaps here: 2011, 2010, 2009.

I’ve done my best to ensure all of the data in this report is accurate, but I make no guarantees – use it at your own risk. The data comes from the Twitter API, and was collected over the course of 2012. If a user has his or her location set to Edmonton, St. Albert, Sherwood Park, Leduc, Nisku, Stony Plain, Fort Saskatchewan, Beaumont, Spruce Grove, or matching lat/long coordinates, they are considered an Edmontonian, and thus a “local user”.

Please treat the numbers in this report as a minimum. There are instances where I wasn’t able to capture all of the data, and there are certainly users here in Edmonton who do not match the above definition of a “local user”. More important than the raw numbers themselves are the trends, and that’s why in many cases I have presented rounded rather than exact figures. You can click on any graph to see a larger version.

Here are the highlights for 2012:

  • More than 105,000 local users posted at least one tweet.
  • About 17 million tweets were posted by local users, which works out to 32.3 tweets per minute (up from 11.2 million tweets and 21.4 tweets per minute last year).
  • Here’s a breakdown of those tweets:
    • Nearly 900,000 tweets were tagged #yeg or a related hashtag (5.3%, down from 6.4% last year)
    • More than 850,000 tweets were retweets (5.1%, down from 6.2% last year)
    • About 6.5 million tweets were replies (38.8%, down from 39.4% last year)
    • Just under 2.4 million tweets were replies to other local users (14.2%, down from 15.2% last year)
    • About 4 million tweets contained links (23.3%, down from 22.9% last year)
    • Nearly 5 million tweets contained hashtags (28.9%)
    • More than 400,000 tweets were twooshes (a twoosh is exactly 140 characters) (2.5%, down from 2.9% last year)

When the year started, Edmontonians were posting about 1.2 million tweets per month. While the growth over the course of the year was less dramatic than in years past, the trend was clearly up. Please note that November shows a dip but that was due to issues with my system, and does not reflect a sudden drop in activity. October was the busiest month we’ve had in terms of tweet volume, with a little over 1.7 million tweets posted.

The day with the most tweets posted was November 7. A quick scan of the headlines shows that was the day of our major snowfall that caused all kinds of issues for Edmontonians, and clearly they took to Twitter to talk about it. A little over 50 tweets per minute were posted that day, and the number of local replies to one another was twice the average.

Roughly 47.5% of all local tweets were posted between the hours of 9 AM and 6 PM, which is down a little from 49.1% last year. The fewest tweets are posted around 4 AM, and the peak comes at around 9 PM.

Looking at days of the week, it turns out that Wednesday had the most tweets posted followed closely by Tuesday, with Monday being having the fewest. This is more or less the same as last year, when Wednesday was also the highest and Sunday was the lowest.

Looking at the stats by year is great, but it is the longer-term view that is most interesting. Here’s a look at the number of tweets posted per month since I started tracking back at the beginning of 2009:

When I built my tracking system at the end of 2008 there were very few users and very few tweets being posted each month. I have maintained and improved it over the last few years, and thankfully Twitter’s API has become incredibly stable. But the original design/approach has reached some limits. So with that in mind, I built a new system over the holidays that I will soon be launching at ShareEdmonton so that you can see this information in near real-time. It may not be as complete initially, but I will improve it over the course of the year. Stay tuned!

Coming Up

In order to make it easier to produce and consume this report, I have decided to break it into sections. This entry provided an overview, and upcoming entries will focus on different aspects of Twitter usage in Edmonton:

  1. Overview
  2. Users & Clients
  3. Hashtags & Links

If you have any questions about this information, please leave a comment below!

State of the Calgary Twittersphere 2012 – Overview

Welcome to the State of the Calgary Twittersphere for 2012, my look at the intersection of Twitter and Calgary in 2012. While I have kept up with the stats for Edmonton, I haven’t posted anything about Calgary since my last monthly post way back in September of 2010. That post looked at the statistics for July 2010, when just 10,500 local users posted a tweet. Twitter has grown significantly since then, and so has the community in Calgary.

I’ve done my best to ensure all of the data in this report is accurate, but I make no guarantees – use it at your own risk. The data comes from the Twitter API, and was collected over the course of 2012. If a user has his or her location set to Calgary, Airdrie, Okotoks, Cochrane, Strathmore, or matching lat/long coordinates, they are considered a Calgarian, and thus a “local” user.

Please treat the numbers in this report as a minimum. There are instances where I wasn’t able to capture all of the data, and there are certainly users here in Calgary who do not match the above definition of a “local user”. More important than the raw numbers themselves are the trends, and that’s why in many cases I have presented rounded rather than exact figures. You can click on any graph to see a larger version.

Here are the highlights for 2012:

  • More than 105,000 local users posted at least one tweet.
  • More than 19 million tweets were posted by local users, which works out to 36.6 tweets per minute.
  • Here’s a breakdown of those tweets:
    • Nearly 700,000 tweets were tagged #yyc (3.6%)
    • Just over 900,000 tweets were retweets (4.7%)
    • Almost 7 million tweets were replies (35.5%)
    • Almost 2 million tweets were replies to other local users (9.9%)
    • More than 5 million tweets contained links (26.2%)
    • More than 5.1 million tweets contained hashtags (26.6%)
    • More than 400,000 tweets were twooshes (a twoosh is exactly 140 characters) (2.3%)

When the year started, Calgarians were posting about 1.5 million tweets per month. That number remained relatively constant throughout the year, though there was a big jump in October to more than 1.8 million (and November appears lower than it should in this report due to issues with the data collection).

Roughly 47.8% of all local tweets in 2012 were posted between the hours of 9 AM and 6 PM. The fewest tweets were posted at about 4 AM, and there’s a visible spike in volume at around 9 PM.

Looking at days of the week, it turns out that Tuesday and Wednesday saw the most tweets posted, with Monday having the fewest (though there isn’t much of a difference compared to the rest of the week).

Though I have been recording stats for Calgary since 2009, I haven’t looked at the data in quite some time, so this was an interesting exercise. Comparing the data to last year’s report for Edmonton (and this year’s, which will be posted soon) gives you a sense of how much Twitter usage in Calgary has grown.

Coming Up

I have decided to break this report into sections to make it easier to produce and consume. This entry provided an overview, and upcoming entries will focus on different aspects of Twitter usage in Calgary:

  1. Overview
  2. Users & Clients
  3. Hashtags & Links

Thanks for reading!

2012 Alberta Election: Social Media Highlights

I don’t think there’s any doubt that social media played a significant role in this year’s provincial election. From witty tweets to conversation-shifting blog posts and everything in between, there’s no shortage of social media highlights to look back on. In an effort to capture how social media impacted the election, I have been tracking some of the most popular and memorable blog posts, photos, tweets, videos, and links.

Very early on, Danielle Smith’s campaign bus was the talk of Twitter for its unfortunate wheel placement. It attracted so much attention that even Jay Leno joked about it! The Wildrose quickly fixed the bus, sharing a new photo on Facebook that was liked nearly 800 times with more than 220 comments.

danielle-smith-bus-628

Social media proved to be an effective tool for the mainstream media to share their stuff throughout the election. For example, CBC’s Vote Compass was shared more than 5300 times on Facebook and more than 870 times on Twitter. Over 115,000 responses were completed.

On March 30, PC staffer Amanda Wilkie (@wikwikkie) posted a tweet questioning Danielle Smith’s lack of children. There was an immediate backlash which forced Wilkie to apologize and delete the tweet. Smith released a statement explaining that she and her husband had tried to have kids with the aid of fertility treatments, and Alison Redford released a statement announcing that Wilkie had resigned. The two leaders spoke on the phone and vowed to move on.

Smith’s tweet was retweeted more than 100 times.

On April Fools Day, the Wildrose issued a news release saying that if elected, the party would pursue a merger with Saskatchewan to form a new province known as Saskberta. It was shared on Facebook more than 2100 times and on Twitter more than 360 times. The Wildrose tweet itself was retweeted more than 140 times:

Candidates first felt the power of blogs on April 2, when Kathleen Smith (@KikkiPlanet) posted her widely-read piece entitled Pruned Bush: Confessions of a Wilted Rose. An impassioned and well-written post, it racked up more than 1400 likes on Facebook, more than 330 tweets, and 136 comments. More than that, it brought “Conscience Rights” into the spotlight.

Kathleen’s post even attracted an angry response from a Wildrose supporter. Paula Simons has a good recap of the whole story, so check it out.

Just two days later, Dave Cournoyer (@davecournoyer) posted an even more popular blog post. His entry titled thorny candidates could be the wildrose party’s biggest liability attracted more than 4700 likes on Facebook, more than 600 tweets, and 150 comments. Though we didn’t know it at the time, Dave’s post would be cited countless times over the next few weeks as Wildrose candidates made gaffe after gaffe. Even his follow-up post on April 16 attracted more than 600 likes, more than 70 tweets, and 75 comments.

The next day on April 5, Dave Cournoyer noticed that a Twitter account named @PremierDanielle had been created and was being followed by @ElectDanielle, Smith’s official account. While it only came to light during the election, it was actually created back on October 12, 2010.

I didn’t think there’d be many audio clips to note during the election, but on April 7 the Alberta Party launched its official campaign song, composed by JUNO winners Cindy Church and Sylvia Tyson. The page was shared on Facebook more than 100 times and on Twitter more than 40 times. The song itself, hosted on SoundCloud, has been played more than 3500 times.

It didn’t take long after Danielle Smith announced a $300 dividend for all Albertans for Sean Healy to launch Dani Dollars, a website that let users pledge their cash “to Wildrose Relief”. It was shared more than 280 times on Facebook, more than 130 times on Twitter, and attracted more than 170 pledges for a grand total of $51,600.

The leaders debate took place on April 12, and while it ended up being fairly boring (aside from Raj Sherman’s unintentionally comedic outbursts) there were a couple of highlights. One was Alberta Party leader Glenn Taylor’s live blog, which was followed by more than 1700 people. It was shared more than 480 times on Facebook and more than 300 times on Twitter.

The debate also resulted in one of the most memorable tweets of the election, retweeted more than 340 times:

Edmonton Journal videographer Ryan Jackson posted a really unique video on April 13. By stitching together four different videos, Jackson made it appear as if you were sitting in a coffee shop with four of the party leaders. The video was shared more than 140 times on Facebook and more than 50 times on Twitter.

On April 14, a new Twitter account known as @Adamwyork posted a tweet about Wildrose candidate Allan Hunsperger. It linked to an old blog post that Hunsperger had written that contained the shocking statement that gays and lesbians would “suffer the rest of eternity in the lake of fire, hell.” You can see a screen capture of the post here. It wasn’t until April 26 that the person behind the tweet was identified. Turns out it was Blake Robert, better known online as @BRinYEG. Paula Simons’ post about the outing has already been shared more than 275 times on Facebook and more than 144 times on Twitter.

Though the original tweet was only retweeted 13 times, the impact it had on the election cannot be overstated.

On April 16, the domain name INeverThoughtIdVotePC.com was registered. A couple of days later, the website launched featuring a short video that asked Albertans to vote strategically against the Wildrose. The website has been shared on Facebook more than 3700 times and the video itself has been seen more than 88,000 times.

On April 17, Vicky Frederick posted a Wildrose-edition of the “Downfall / Hitler Reacts” video meme. The video, titled Inside the Wildrose War Room, has been seen nearly 12,000 times.

It was a busy day on April 17. That was also the day that Wildrose candidate Ron Leech made controversial statements about having an advantage as a Caucasian. The Journal captured a copy of the radio interview here. The tweet from CTV Edmonton breaking the news was retweeted more than 250 times:

That same day, the Wildrose posted its “Momentum” ad on YouTube. With more than 112,000 views, it’s the most popular election-related video.

On April 20, Paula Simons wrote a blog post titled The Price of Free Speech. She discussed Danielle Smith’s stubborn refusal to reprimand candidates like Hunsperger and Leech. The post was shared on Facebook more than 1500 times and on Twitter more than 180 times.

In the final weekend of the campaign, photos of this graffiti wall here in Edmonton started circulating on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere online:

I don’t know how many times it was shared, but I saw it all over the place.

After all of the negativity of the election, I was quite happy to see Ryan Jackson’s next election video on April 23. A “whimsical parody video”, it featured the “strange new species” popping up on lawns across Alberta known was the election sign.

He posted a behind-the-scenes on the video just yesterday.

As the polls opened on April 23, many people tweeted that they had voted while others encouraged Albertans to get out and vote. With more than 200 retweets, Kathleen Smith’s call-to-action was probably the most visible of the day:

On election night itself there were many memorable tweets, but Todd Babiak’s post about how the public opinion polls were so wrong was one of the most retweeted with 195 retweets:

As far as I can tell, the most retweeted tweet of the entire election came at 9:27pm on election night, after it became clear that the Wildrose would form the official opposition. Calgary’s Nick Heer posted this tweet:

It has been retweeted more than 650 times!

Final Thoughts

It’s hard to imagine what the election would have looked like without social media! Through tweets, photos, videos, blog posts, and more, Albertans had no shortage of ways to share their thoughts on the candidates and the campaigns. And because of the nature of social media, those thoughts often spread extremely quickly and were frequently picked up by the mainstream media. Whether you’re a Twitter or Facebook user yourself or not, there’s no question that social media helped make the 2012 provincial election one of the most exciting in Alberta’s history.

Did you have a social media highlight that I missed? Let me know in the comments! For more on the role that Twitter played during the election, be sure to check out AlbertaTweets. Looking for election results and statistics? Check out my #abvote Results Dashboard!

State of the Edmonton Twittersphere 2011 – Hashtags & Links

This is the third part in my State of the Edmonton Twittersphere for 2011 – you can read the overview post here. As we saw in that entry, local users posted more than 2.5 million tweets containing links. They also posted more than 3 million tweets containing hashtags. Let’s take a closer look at what exactly we tweeted about in 2011.

Here’s a breakdown of the number of tweets posted per month containing links. As expected, it trends up:

More interesting than the number of links is what those links are for! Of course, most links are hidden behind shortened URLs using a service like TinyURL. That makes it difficult to see the final destination of the link. Additionally, Twitter rolled out its own URL shortener in August which automatically wrapped all links with t.co. So to get a sense of what the links look like, I examined the data from January through August and excluded any t.co wrapped links. That gives us this:

As you can see, bit.ly is by far the most popular URL shortening service. Looking at the top ten, we can see that Tumblr, Facebook, Foursquare, and YouTube account for a large number of the links we post on Twitter every day. So, we use Twitter to link to other social networking sites!

Here are the top ten domains (excluding t.co):

  1. bit.ly
  2. ow.ly
  3. tinyurl.com
  4. tumblr.com
  5. fb.me
  6. 4sq.com
  7. yfrog.com
  8. twitpic.com
  9. youtu.be
  10. edmjr.nl

Other popular domains included instagr.am, goo.gl, and dlvr.it.

Perhaps more useful than links for determining what we tweeted about are hashtags. After all, the hashtag was created as a way to “categorize” tweets. In 2011, local users posted more than 3 million tweets containing hashtags. The most commonly used hashtag, by a longshot, was #yeg. Here is a word cloud of the most commonly used hashtags:

Local users used nearly 600,000 different hashtags in 2011. The shortest was just one character, excluding the hash, and the longest was 139 characters. The average hashtag was 14 characters long. There were seven hashtags that filled the full 140 characters of a tweet (when you include the #) and all but one of them had to do with using a long hashtag (the outlier was an extended hey!).

This should give you a sense of the diversity of hashtags used, and also of the prevalence of #yeg:

Removing #yeg from the word cloud allows us to get a better sense of the other top tags:

Here are the top ten hashtags excluding #yeg:

  1. #oilers
  2. #ff
  3. #yegfood
  4. #edmonton
  5. #ableg
  6. #yyc
  7. #cdnpoli
  8. #alberta
  9. #customer
  10. #canada

The only one that surprises me there is #customer. I have no idea why that hashtag was so popular! Given that it hasn’t been used recently, I suspect a bot may have helped boost its use at some point throughout the year.

I have always been fascinated by the number of local “subtags” as I call them, or hashtags that start with #yeg. In 2011, local users posted more than 3600 different hashtags that started with #yeg. The average length, excluding the hash, was 11 characters. The longest was 52 characters. Appropriately, it was about the weather – #yegohmygoodnesscantbelievewinterisherehowwillimanage.

Here’s a look at the top #yeg-related hashtags:

Here are the top ten #yeg-related hashtags:

  1. #yegfood
  2. #yegarena
  3. #yegweather
  4. #yegwx
  5. #yegtraffic
  6. #yegcc
  7. #yegarts
  8. #yegmusic
  9. #yegfed
  10. #yegtransit

So what did we talk about on Twitter in 2011? The same stuff we talk about everywhere else – food, politics, music, traffic, etc. The list above is pretty similar to the list from 2010, with #yegfood on top and a number of political tags like #yegcc, #yegarena, and #yegfed.

Here’s another way to visualize how popular those ten hashtags were, when compared with all other #yeg-related tags:

And here’s a look at the next most commonly used tags after excluding the top ten:

I imagine #yegdt, #yegmedia, and #yegbiz will all climb the charts in 2012!

2011 in Review

This year I have broken the report into sections:

  1. Overview
  2. Users & Clients
  3. Hashtags & Links

This entry brings the report to a close. I hope you found it useful. Thanks for reading!

State of the Edmonton Twittersphere 2011 – Users & Clients

This is the second part in my State of the Edmonton Twittersphere for 2011 – you can read the overview post here. As we saw in that entry, more than 46,000 local users posted at least one tweet in 2011, and more than 23,000 were active in December. Let’s take a closer look at users and the tools they used to post tweets.

In my experience the creation date for a user is not always populated, but assuming it is incorrect or missing equally across the year, this chart gives us an indication of when local users signed up for accounts in 2011:

As you can see only March seems to stand out – the number of users created is otherwise fairly evenly distributed across the year.

On to the lists!

Here are the 25 most followed users:

  1. hallsy04
  2. bioware
  3. NHL_Oilers
  4. revtrev
  5. Pat_Lorna
  6. ebs_14
  7. masseffect
  8. dragonage
  9. randyfritz
  10. MilesSTEREOS
  11. askandimagine
  12. darklarke
  13. jayrahime
  14. DavidPapp
  15. AskMartyMisner
  16. DancinginLife
  17. mps_91
  18. TheMaddigans
  19. CityofEdmonton
  20. subunit1
  21. edmontonjournal
  22. redneckmommy
  23. ctvedmonton
  24. GenePrincipe
  25. ThisBirdsDay

The average local user has 138 followers (compared to 120 last year). A total of 918 users have 1000 followers or more (compared to 420 users last year).

Here are the 25 most listed users:

  1. bioware
  2. revtrev
  3. NHL_Oilers
  4. masseffect
  5. dragonage
  6. hallsy04
  7. redneckmommy
  8. rootnl2k
  9. randyfritz
  10. paradepro
  11. Pat_Lorna
  12. gcouros
  13. edmontonjournal
  14. gsiemens
  15. DancinginLife
  16. ebs_14
  17. da_buzz
  18. ctvedmonton
  19. CityofEdmonton
  20. dantencer
  21. CBCEdmonton
  22. mastermaq
  23. britl
  24. askandimagine
  25. GlobalEdmonton

The average local user has been listed 4 times (compared to 5 times last year).

Here are the 25 most active users:

  1. rootnl2k
  2. etownmelly
  3. theleanover
  4. JoThrillzPromo
  5. auryanna
  6. CommonSenseSoc
  7. KikkiPlanet
  8. RyanPMG
  9. Leask
  10. BikiniOrBust
  11. LiarAllDay
  12. ZoomJer
  13. fraygulrock
  14. counterplot
  15. JovanHeer
  16. PoisonLolita (now @Shannanicorn)
  17. SaySandra
  18. Jenn_Etown
  19. sarahbartlett (now @sarahesinfield)
  20. DV1NE
  21. gcouros
  22. AskMartyMisner
  23. andrew_leach
  24. TrevorBoller
  25. habanerogal

Here are the 5 most active bots:

  1. WCIJobs
  2. EdmontonBizcaf
  3. MadMissee
  4. yegtraffic
  5. LocalEdmonton

Combined those were the top 30 most active users, and they accounted for 8.3% of all local tweets. The top 100 most active users accounted for 16.0% of all local tweets (compared to 18.5% last year).

Here are the 25 most active users using #yeg (and #yeg-related hashtags):

  1. iNews880
  2. ctvedmonton
  3. edmontonjournal
  4. CBCEdmonton
  5. TamaraStecyk
  6. MacsTheWord
  7. Edmontonsun
  8. Paulatics
  9. DebraWard
  10. JBH8
  11. k97
  12. mastermaq
  13. Sirthinks
  14. SimonOstler
  15. KikkiPlanet
  16. CommonSenseSoc
  17. metroedmonton
  18. britl
  19. lindork
  20. thepolishviking
  21. Slummer90
  22. Macgyyver
  23. CityofEdmonton
  24. GigcityYEG
  25. craigpilgrim

Here are 5 most active bots using #yeg:

  1. yegsphere
  2. EdmCa
  3. yegwx
  4. yegtraffic
  5. Oilogosphere

The top 100 most active users using #yeg and related tags accounted for 30.3% of all #yeg-tagged tweets, down from 51.8% last year. That suggests that more users are using #yeg! A total of 14,238 users posted at least one tweet tagged with #yeg or a related tag in 2011.

Here are the 25 most replied to users (by other local users):

  1. KikkiPlanet
  2. JasonGregor
  3. confessionality
  4. ZoomJer
  5. JenBanksYEG
  6. Wildsau
  7. britl
  8. Pokerclack
  9. CommonSenseSoc
  10. dantencer
  11. SaySandra
  12. RockstarJodie
  13. TamaraStecyk
  14. Rainyfool
  15. Leask
  16. NoPantsAsh
  17. lindork
  18. Luzzara
  19. NHL_Oilers
  20. FeliciaDewar
  21. habanerogal
  22. TrevorBoller
  23. nielson1260
  24. Sirthinks
  25. MeghanDarker

Those 25 users accounted for 11.2% of all local replies. The top 100 most replied to local users accounted for 24.5% of all local replies (compared to 32.8% last year).

Here are the 25 most retweeted users (by other local users):

  1. edmontonjournal
  2. NHL_Oilers
  3. ctvedmonton
  4. dantencer
  5. CityofEdmonton
  6. mastermaq
  7. metroedmonton
  8. cbcedmonton
  9. Paulatics
  10. GlobalEdmonton
  11. SimonOstler
  12. yegtraffic
  13. JasonGregor
  14. britl
  15. KikkiPlanet
  16. edmontonsun
  17. sunterryjones
  18. EdmontonHumane
  19. GenePrincipe
  20. hallsy04
  21. iNews880
  22. joshclassen
  23. bingofuel
  24. Wildsau
  25. davecournoyer

If you ever needed proof that Edmonton is a hockey town, look no further than that list! A total of 38 users were retweeted by other local users 1000 times or more. Just the top 6 users were retweeted more than 4000 times, and just @edmontonjournal was retweeted more than 10,000 times.

I like to say that the “most retweeted” is the most important of all the lists in this post, because the retweet is the social currency of Twitter. If someone retweets you, that means that whatever you posted was important/clever/funny/inspiring/etc enough to share with others.

Clients

More than 3100 different applications and services were used to post tweets in 2011, up from more than 2000 last year. Here are the top ten:

  1. web
  2. Twitter for iPhone
  3. Twitter for BlackBerry®
  4. TweetDeck
  5. HootSuite
  6. Echofon
  7. twitterfeed
  8. Twitter for Android
  9. txt
  10. Tweet Button

The top ten clients accounted for 76.8% of all local tweets in 2011 (compared to 76.2% last year).

Coming Up

This year I have broken the report into sections:

  1. Overview
  2. Users & Clients
  3. Hashtags & Links

If you have suggestions for additional parts to the report, I’d love to hear them. Thanks for reading!

State of the Edmonton Twittersphere 2011 – Overview

Welcome to the State of the Edmonton Twittersphere for 2011, my look at the intersection of Twitter and Edmonton in 2011. You can see my 2010 recap here, and my 2009 recap here.

I’ve done my best to ensure all of the data in this report is accurate, but I make no guarantees – use it at your own risk. The data comes from the Twitter API, and was collected over the course of 2011. If a user has his or her location set to Edmonton, St. Albert, Sherwood Park, Leduc, Nisku, Stony Plain, Fort Saskatchewan, Beaumont, Spruce Grove, or matching lat/long coordinates, they are considered an Edmontonian, and thus a “local user”.

Please treat the numbers in this report as a minimum. There are instances where I wasn’t able to capture all of the data, and there are certainly users here in Edmonton who do not match the above definition of a “local user”. More important than the raw numbers themselves are the trends, and that’s why in many cases I have presented rounded rather than exact figures. You can click on any graph to see a larger version.

Here are the highlights for 2011:

  • More than 46,000 local users posted at least one tweet.
    • A little over 1000 of those accounts no longer exist.
  • More than 11.2 million tweets were posted by local users, which works out to 21.4 tweets per minute.
    • That’s 2.3 times as many tweets as were posted in 2010.
  • Here’s a breakdown of those tweets:
    • More than 715,000 tweets were tagged #yeg or a related hashtag (like #yegfood) (6.4%, down from 7.7% last year)
    • Nearly 700,000 tweets were retweets (6.2%, down from 7.2% last year)
    • More than 4.4 million tweets were replies (39.4%, up from 34.7% last year)
    • More than 1.7 million tweets were replies to other local users (15.2%, up from 13.5% last year)
    • More than 2.5 million tweets contained links (22.9%, down from 26.9% last year)
    • More than 320,000 tweets were twooshes (a twoosh is exactly 140 characters) (2.9%, down from 3.9% last year)

While more than 46,000 local users posted a tweet last year, just under 24,000 were active at the end of the year in December (active means they posted at least one tweet). That’s 1.9 times as many active users as January. That’s slightly better growth than we saw in 2010, when December had 1.8 times as many active users as January.

When the year started, Edmontonians were posting a little over 600,000 tweets per month. By the end of the year, that number had nearly doubled to 1.1 million tweets per month. That’s less than the growth that Twitter as a whole experienced last year (3 times as many tweets were posted as compared to the same point in 2010) but is more or less what we saw in Edmonton in 2010 (as compared to 2009).

Roughly 49.1% of all tweets in 2011 were posted between the hours of 9 AM and 6 PM, down slightly from 50.8% in 2010. Once again the lowest point for tweet volume was around 4 AM. Last year there were clear early morning and late night spikes, but this year only the late night spike is present (8 PM to 11 PM).

There’s a much nicer looking curve for days of the week this year, with the most tweets being posted during the middle of the week. Sunday typically had the lowest volume of tweets posted.

Here’s a look at the number of tweets posted per day for each day of the year. As with last year’s chart, the trend is clearly up, and there are some visible spikes and troughs. The dip on April 9 appears to be an anomaly in the data, perhaps there were issues with the Twitter API that day (unless you have another idea!). The peak on June 15 was not immediately obvious but it turned out after looking at a Wordle of the tweets that the spike was due to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. With nearly 45,000 tweets posted that day, it remained the record until October 25 when discussion about the downtown arena became the talk of Twitter here in Edmonton. More than 46,000 tweets were posted that day, with almost as many being posted on the next two days as well. The spike on November 17 appears to be related to the snow and cold weather that arrived that week.

Coming Up

In order to make it easier for me to write this report, I have decided to break it into sections. This entry provided an overview, and upcoming entries will focus on different aspects of Twitter usage in Edmonton:

  1. Overview
  2. Users & Clients
  3. Hashtags & Links

If you have suggestions for additional parts to the report, I’d love to hear them. Thanks for reading!

Twitter statistics for City Council’s vote on the financial framework for the downtown arena

After a long public hearing on Tuesday, City Council yesterday debated the proposed financial framework and ultimately whether or not they wanted to proceed with the downtown arena project. They voted 10-3 in favor of the framework, and also voted to spend $30 million to complete the design to 60%. Here’s my analysis of the the arena-related tweets posted by Edmonton users between 9:30am and 9:30pm.

By graphing the tweets per minute, you can very clearly see the time the vote took place (~3:03pm):

I was curious to know if the things people were tweeting before and after that moment were different. Here’s a word cloud of the tweets prior to the vote:

Caterina was mentioned a lot, which makes sense considering he turned out to be the surprise dealmaker of the day. The other Councillors were mentioned quite frequently too, as myself and others tweeted their comments.

Here’s a word cloud of the tweets posted after the vote:

It’s very interesting that “Edmonton” was tweeted so often after the vote passed. There were a lot of tweets similar to “Edmonton will get a new arena” that were retweeted after the vote. You can also see that “Iveson” was fairly prominent after the vote, reflecting the large number of tweets about his final remarks on the deal.

Other stats:

  • It was another busy day for tweets in Edmonton with more than 42,000 posted by Edmontonians. That works out to an average of about 30 per minute.
  • More than 880 users posted at least one arena-related tweet.
  • On average, 5.0 arena-related tweets were posted per minute between 9:30am and 9:30pm. The peak was 43.
  • Roughly 14% of the tweets were replies to other users.
  • Roughly 29% of the tweets were retweets.

Here are the top 20 most active local users (most tweets to least):

Here are the top 20 most retweeted local users (by other local users, most retweeted to least):

I gave Paula a run for her money, but she remained the most retweeted user on the arena issue!

UPDATE: I’m always looking for better ways to analyze tweets. Finding a good, reliable way to do sentiment analysis (are tweets positive or negative) is a challenge, partially because tweets are so short and because they usually include weird entities like hashtags (weird from a natural language processing point-of-view). To analyze the arena-related tweets, I used uClassify’s Sentiment Classifier. Here are the results:

tweet sentiment

I would say this is pretty much as expected. Tweets before the vote probably expressed less emotion one way or the other. Most people tweeting after the vote seemed happy with the decision Council made.

Twitter statistics for today’s public hearing on the proposed arena deal

I think it’s fair to say that the public hearing on the proposed arena deal was the talk of Twitter in Edmonton today. Here’s my quick analysis of all arena-related tweets posted by Edmonton users today between 9:30am and 9:30pm.

A word cloud of the 4500+ tweets:

Here’s a breakdown of tweets per minute (you can clearly see the lunch and dinner breaks):

Other stats:

  • Thanks largely to the arena-related tweets, more than 44,000 tweets were posted by Edmontonians today. That works out to an average of about 31 tweets per minute.
  • More than 800 different users posted at least one arena-related tweet.
  • On average, 6.3 arena-related tweets were posted per minute between 9:30am and 9:30pm. The peak was 24.
  • Roughly 17% of the tweets were replies to other users.
  • Roughly 25% of the tweets were retweets.

Here are the top 20 most active local users (most tweets to least):

  1. Paulatics
  2. iNews880
  3. scott_lilwall
  4. KikkiPlanet
  5. ctvedmonton
  6. rjmackinnon
  7. Sirthinks
  8. jfranceska
  9. SunMichelleT
  10. JennaBCityTV
  11. canadianglen
  12. dstaples
  13. edmontoncritic
  14. Edmontonsun
  15. Darren_Krause
  16. journalistjeff
  17. SeanCollins11
  18. DennisMichael_1
  19. smoonie
  20. ScottFralick

Here are the top 20 most retweeted local users (by other local users, most retweeted to least):

  1. Paulatics
  2. ctvedmonton
  3. KikkiPlanet
  4. rjmackinnon
  5. iNews880
  6. sunterryjones
  7. scott_lilwall
  8. SunMichelleT
  9. mastermaq
  10. dstaples
  11. davecournoyer
  12. el_cormier
  13. yegmotto
  14. smah1
  15. frostiblack
  16. dantencer
  17. Edmontonsun
  18. dirklancer
  19. journalistjeff
  20. tedgbauer & alexabboud

Council voted to deal with the issue at 9:30am tomorrow (Wednesday). You can watch or listen live here.

Five Years with Twitter

It was five years ago today that Twitter officially launched to the public (the very first ever tweet was sent on March 21, 2006). It was also five years ago today that I signed up for the service. It has become my claim to Twitter fame (such as it is) – I was the 985th person in the world to join! More than 600,000 people joined Twitter yesterday, which is pretty amazing when you consider that it took more than 16 months for the first 600,000 people to join!

When it launched, Twitter was actually Twttr (no vowels). At the time I was busy working on Podcast Spot. We were always paying attention to what our competitors were doing, and one of the biggest names in podcasting at the time was Odeo. I remember reading that they had launched a side-project named Twttr, and I remember thinking “this is dumb” after I checked it out. I mean the idea was neat, without a doubt, but I couldn’t fathom why they would be putting resources into Twttr rather than into Odeo. Anyway, as you know Odeo died and Twitter took off, so obviously they made the right decision!

I’ve written over a hundred Twitter-related blog posts over the last five years. My early entries seemed to be all about Twitter’s infamous fail whale and how the service struggled to stay operational, though I did immediately pick up on the ability to track topics. It was well into 2008 that they were still experiencing issues with reliability. That was also the year that I organized our first ever tweetup here in Edmonton (with help from Melanie and others). In June of 2008, I was down in Calgary for BarCamp and did a presentation on Twitter. After chatting with Wil at the bar afterward, I decided we should borrow the city hashtag idea from Calgary (they were using #yyc). The first #yeg tweet went out on June 20, 2008 (I wrote a bit more about that here). Exactly two years after Twitter launched, it purchased Summize, the search engine that now powers Twitter Search. That was a big deal, as it made the service much more useful. It also made it possible for me to start tracking the Edmonton Twittersphere, and I posted my first look at those statistics in February 2009. That seemed to give the local scene some momentum, and a month later I was at CTV talking to their newsroom about Twitter. That was the turning point in Edmonton, in my opinion. A lot of people joined after they ran the Twitter story, and I think the fact that CTV embraced the service gave it some legitimacy. The local Twittersphere has been growing in size and influence ever since.

I have always been a web user of Twitter. Over the years I have used apps on my mobile phones, text messaging, and I’ve dabbled with apps like TweetDeck and HootSuite, but my primary interface remains the Twitter website. I was particularly happy about #newtwitter, though I know a lot of you didn’t like the redesign (at least initially). It’s kind of incredible to think back to the time when Twitter didn’t have retweets, mentions were just replies, and hashtags were rare. The addition of lists was another thing that changed the way I use Twitter. I’m often asked how I can possibly follow nearly 6000 people and the answer is always “I don’t.” I use a combination of lists and search to pay attention to certain people and/or topics! I rarely, if ever, look at the timeline. It look me a long time to get over that – early on I definitely felt like I didn’t want to miss anything! Twitter is still largely the same as it was in 2006 (at least conceptually), but the changes that have been made have really had an impact.

I don’t know what Twitter will look like five years from now, but it certainly shows no signs of going away. I look forward to its continued evolution, and I hope Twitter continues to have a positive impact here in Edmonton!

Special thanks to Jeff and Sally for the Twitter birthday post today! And yes, I need to get on with updating stats!

State of the Edmonton Twittersphere – 2010 Year in Review

Welcome to the State of the Edmonton Twittersphere: 2010 Year in Review, my look at the intersection of Twitter and Edmonton in 2010! You can see my recap of 2009 here.

I’ve done my best to ensure all of the data in this post is accurate, but I make no guarantees – use it at your own risk. The data comes from the Twitter API, and has been collected over the past year. If a user has his or her location set to Edmonton, St. Albert, Sherwood Park, Leduc, Nisku, Stony Plain, Fort Saskatchewan, Beaumont, Spruce Grove, or matching lat/long coordinates, they are considered an Edmontonian, and thus a “local user”.

If you compare the monthly statistics here to my monthly State of the Edmonton Twittersphere posts, you’ll notice they are slightly different. The monthly posts represent a snapshot – this post reflects the most up-to-date information I have been able to gather as of the end of 2010.

Summary

Here are the highlights for 2010:

  • There were 22,000+ local users.
  • Those users posted more than 4.9 million tweets. That works out to 9.4 per minute.
  • Of those 4,948,409 tweets:
    • 381,752 contained #yeg or one of the #yeg-related hashtags (like #yegfood) (7.7%)
    • 357,206 were retweets (7.2%)
    • 1,715,507 were replies (34.7%)
    • 668,368 were replies to other local users (13.5%)
    • 1,331,306 contained links (26.9%)
    • 191,060 were twooshes (exactly 140 characters) (3.9%)

Let’s look at users. While more than 22,000 local users were on Twitter last year, only 10,200 of them were active during the month of December (active means they posted at least one tweet). But that was up from just 5601 who were active during the month of January.

When 2010 started, local users were posting about 260,000 tweets per month. By the end of the year, that number had grown to more than 525,000 tweets per month.

This chart gives you a sense of the trends over the year. I think it is interesting that the lines for #yeg-related tweets and retweets are almost identical (red and green).

Roughly 50.8% of all tweets in 2010 were posted between the hours of 9 AM and 6 PM. Not surprisingly, the number of tweets posted between midnight and 7 AM is quite a bit lower than the number posted during the day and early evening. There seems to be an early morning (9-10 AM) and late night (9-10 PM) spike.

If we look at days of the week, we see that more tweets are posted on Tuesday and Wednesday than on any other day.

In the chart below I have plotted the number of tweets posted per day for each day of the year. The trend is clearly up, and the spikes and troughs reveal some interesting events. Election day, October 18, saw the most tweets posted at 23,234. On average, 13,558 tweets were posted each day in 2010.

Users

Here are the top 25 most followed users:

  1. revtrev
  2. Pat_Lorna
  3. biofeed
  4. randyfritz
  5. dragonage
  6. masseffect2
  7. NHL_Oilers
  8. wearestereos
  9. DancinginLife
  10. subunit1
  11. MathieuBisson
  12. MilesSTEREOS
  13. LesM
  14. patkstereos
  15. todd_herman
  16. hccedmonton
  17. redneckmommy
  18. worldprofit
  19. DrBarryLycka
  20. mtubes
  21. paradepro
  22. TSNRyanRishaug
  23. garrymullen
  24. mastermaq
  25. DarleneV

The average local user has 120 followers. Just 420 users have more than 1000 followers.

Here are the top 25 most listed users:

  1. biofeed
  2. revtrev
  3. randyfritz
  4. NHL_Oilers
  5. masseffect2
  6. dragonage
  7. paradepro
  8. redneckmommy
  9. Pat_Lorna
  10. DaBaby
  11. DancinginLife
  12. rootnl2k
  13. gsiemens
  14. edmontonjournal
  15. TSNRyanRishaug
  16. wearestereos
  17. brentcetera
  18. NiCoLeKoScH
  19. ctvedmonton
  20. gcouros
  21. cbcedmonton
  22. mastermaq
  23. lealea
  24. CityofEdmonton
  25. britl

The average local user has been listed 5 times.

Here are the top 25 most active users:

  1. EdmontonBizcaf
  2. WCIJobs
  3. rootnl2k
  4. etownmelly
  5. DWsBITCH
  6. Lekordable
  7. ZoomJer
  8. CommonSenseSoc
  9. trinamlee
  10. GuitarKat
  11. EdmontonCP
  12. gcouros
  13. SaySandra
  14. Jaisabella
  15. frostedbetty
  16. angelzilla
  17. PoisonLolita
  18. Edmontonsun
  19. DebraWard
  20. Cokebear17
  21. RECEdmonton
  22. Sirthinks
  23. britl
  24. Leask
  25. fraygulrock

The top 100 most active users accounted for 18.5% of all local tweets.

Here are the top 25 most active users using #yeg (and #yeg-related hashtags):

  1. yegsphere
  2. edmontonjournal
  3. EdmCa
  4. rootnl2k
  5. iNews880
  6. oilersff
  7. DebraWard
  8. Edmontonsun
  9. WeatherEdmonton
  10. ctvedmonton
  11. EdmontonBizcaf
  12. WCIJobs
  13. cbcedmonton
  14. DWsBITCH
  15. Sirthinks
  16. ZoomJer
  17. livingsanctuary
  18. mastermaq
  19. fraygulrock
  20. yegtraffic
  21. Lekordable
  22. gcouros
  23. BrentWelch
  24. frostedbetty
  25. bingofuel

The top 100 most active users using #yeg and its subtags accounted for 51.8% of all #yeg-tagged tweets.

Here are the top 25 most replied to users (by other local users):

  1. ZoomJer
  2. PoisonLolita
  3. britl
  4. CommonSenseSoc
  5. Wildsau
  6. angelzilla
  7. RockstarJodie
  8. SaySandra
  9. bingofuel
  10. frostedbetty
  11. GuitarKat
  12. Sirthinks
  13. confessionality
  14. KikkiPlanet
  15. akomuzikera
  16. Rainyfool
  17. JenBanksYEG
  18. DebraWard
  19. FeliciaDewar
  20. mastermaq
  21. adampatterson
  22. lonesomebilydad
  23. LauraSem
  24. Pokerclack
  25. BrentWelch

The top 100 most replied to users accounted for 32.8% of all local replies (replies from one Edmontonian to another).

And here is what I think is the most significant list, the top 25 most retweeted users (by other local users):

  1. edmontonjournal
  2. ctvedmonton
  3. mastermaq
  4. CityofEdmonton
  5. dantencer
  6. cbcedmonton
  7. bingofuel
  8. iNews880
  9. Paulatics
  10. ZoomJer
  11. NHL_Oilers
  12. britl
  13. TrafficEdmonton
  14. joshclassen
  15. BrentWelch
  16. sonic1029
  17. yegfoodbank
  18. davecournoyer
  19. SimonOstler
  20. Edmontonsun
  21. JasonGregor
  22. EdmontonHumane
  23. chrislabossiere
  24. DebraWard
  25. Sirthinks

A total of 103 users were retweeted by other local users 100 times or more. Just 18 users were retweeted by other local users 1000 times or more.

Hashtags

The most commonly used hashtag was #yeg. Local users used #yeg roughly 6.5 times more than the next most popular hashtag, which was #FF. Here’s a word cloud of the top 1000 hashtags, including #yeg:

And here are the top 1000 without #yeg:

The average length of a hashtag was 13.7 characters (including the #). There were hashtags that were just two characters, and hashtags that were 140 characters. Here are the top 10 hashtags:

  1. #yeg
  2. #FF
  3. #oilers
  4. #edmonton
  5. #alberta
  6. #ableg
  7. #yegfood
  8. #FollowFriday
  9. #yegvote
  10. #fb

Here are the top 10 #yeg-related hashtags:

  1. #yegfood
  2. #yegvote
  3. #yegweather
  4. #yegtraffic
  5. #yegcc
  6. #yegtransit
  7. #yegarena
  8. #yegmusic
  9. #yegarts
  10. #yegfringe

Clients

There were more than 2000 different clients used by local users to post tweets in 2010. Here are the top ten clients:

  1. web
  2. TweetDeck
  3. Twitter for iPhone
  4. ÜberTwitter
  5. Twitter for BlackBerry®
  6. Echofon
  7. twitterfeed
  8. HootSuite
  9. API
  10. Twitterrific

Text messaging was the next most popular client. Here are the top ten in graphic form (percentages are of the total number of tweets, 4.9 million):

The top ten clients accounted for 76.2% of all local tweets in 2010.

Final Thoughts

Twitter continued its impressive growth all around the world in 2010, and Edmonton was no exception. Though the number of people with Twitter accounts in Edmonton pales in comparison to the number of people with Facebook accounts, I don’t think that is necessarily the best comparison to make. You need a Facebook account to access most things on Facebook, you don’t on Twitter. Twitter reaches far beyond the 22,000+ local users with accounts.

There were lots of tweetups in 2010, but fewer and fewer focused just on Twitter. Because so many more people have joined, even non-Twitter events seem like tweetups! I thought that geolocation might play a bigger role in 2010, but it didn’t really. Just 3124 users have enabled geolocation (up from 270 in 2009). Perhaps 2011 will be the year that geotagged tweets take off? You need to enable it in your settings.

I hope you’ve found this look at the Edmonton Twittersphere in 2010 interesting and informative. Thanks for reading!