Webometric Thoughts

July 1, 2009

Seven Twitter Wordles: #MJ’s Death was massive!

Filed under: Michael Jackson,Twitter,Wordle — admin @ 6:53 pm

Despite a few problems with my programming, I finally got a random sample of the Twitter public timeline: the top 20 feeds from the Twitter public timeline were collected every 30 seconds over seven days. The Twitter updates were then put in Wordle (with the ‘common English words’ taken out).

Even mundane wordles can be interesting to look at. Over the week you can see just how small the trend words are in comparison to the mundanities of life. Then Michael Jackson died.

[you can click on pictures to enlarge]







The Twitter community soon get back on an even keel.

Personally I’m always surprised how little people swear on Twitter.


  1. "Personally I'm always surprised how little people swear on Twitter"

    Would tie in with the idea of Twitter as public conversation, or as @dubber (I think) called it, performance conversation. If you're in a public space and you're not sure exactly who's listening you're less likely to go off on one. It's an interesting phenomena I'd like to see explored sometime!

    Comment by Pete Ashton — July 1, 2009 @ 8:39 pm

  2. I think public/performance conversation can encourage swearing…I'd expect a similar sample on MySpace (i.e., from a very different demographic) to be filled with swear words.

    Curiously enough I know a man with a MySpace sample so I will see if I can post a comparison.

    Comment by David — July 1, 2009 @ 8:58 pm

  3. Different demographic, different audience. Twitter's kinda older so a little more conservative, plus it feels a lot more public than MySpace.

    Unless it's part of their act I suspect people on Twitter are slightly more reserved than they would be in a more pseudo-private environment. But this is veering into psychology which is so not my area.

    Comment by Pete Ashton — July 1, 2009 @ 9:32 pm

  4. And curiously enough I know psychologist who wants to write a paper on Twitter…so if I just throw it all into a pot it sounds like a have an academic paper on the boil

    Comment by David — July 1, 2009 @ 9:36 pm

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