Twitter AHA 2012

I set up some Twitter archives for the American Historical Association 2012 meeting. Now the meeting is finished and the Twitter streams are dying down, I thought I’d shove the data into a spreadsheet and get a snapshot for some stats (all counts at time of snapshot, 12 January).

#AHA2012 or #AHA12
Number of tweets: 4590
Number of tweeters: 679 (6.8 tweets per tweeter)
382 (56.3%) posted 1 tweet only
86 (12.7%) posted 10 tweets or more
8 (1.2%) posted 100 or more
Most prolific individual: 306 tweets

Number of tweets: 581
Number of tweeters: 151
78 (51.7%) posted 1 tweet
15 (9.9%) posted 10 tweets or more
Most prolific individual: 34 tweets

I can make the data available for analysis if anyone wants it! (In fact, will probably put a version up on Google Docs in the next day or so.)

PS: Some similar stats from the MLA conference held at the same time, as of 10 January:

12K tweets, 1341 twitterers. 80% of tweets came from 30% of twitterers. 53% of twitterers tweeted only once.

It’s striking how similar the one-time only stats are, though the number of tweets per tweeter is higher (about 9). The numbers are larger overall because the MLA meeting is larger and Twitter is more established there (and they had free wifi in every room, I think, unlike the AHA). (Public Google Doc of all #MLA12 tweets here)

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7 Responses to Twitter AHA 2012

  1. Pingback: Nearly There – Experiencing a Conference Online | Stumbling Through the Past

  2. Bob Kosovsky says:

    Thanks! What software did you use to capture the tweets?

  3. Sharon says:

    Bob – there are several ways you can do it, including a brilliant Google Docs method that I’d probably have used as well (and will do in the future) except that I didn’t find out about it in time. There is also The Archivist.

    For the Broadside archives, I decided that I didn’t want to be dependent on external services that can disappear overnight, like Twapperkeeper (and this has happened to me rather too often in the last year or so), and I was keen to get some practice in using the Twitter API for myself. So I put together some PHP scripts to pull tweets from the Twitter Search API and save them to a MySQL database (using a cron job). I didn’t write the PHP from scratch, I should add, but re-used and customised various scripts already available online. I do want to post the scripts somewhere like Github for others to re-use, but I need to do a bit of work tidying them up first.

  4. Ben says:

    For those using R, I have some code that could easily be used for text mining and topic modeling a MLA12 tweet archive stored in a google sheet (Martin Hawksey’s seems to be a very complete archive). It will also calculate the snapshot stats in the Sharon’s post above as well as retweet stats and word frequency and association data. You just need to download the archive sheet as a CSV file, then get the CSV file into R as a dataframe (easily done with the read.csv() function). The code is on github here I put it together to analyse tweets from the 2011 meeting of the American Anthropological Association.

  5. Sharon says:

    That sounds terrific!

    (So, the billion-dollar question: how hard is R to learn?)

  6. Alexandra says:

    Thanks Sharon and Ben, this is SO useful for an upcoming conference I have to manage, i was counting tweets by hand. Now all i need is… a programmer!
    BTW i find it fascinating that the MLA conference had that many tweeters. I am quite sure that the art history conferences like RSA have 3 tweeters total. Though maybe times are a-changin’.

  7. Sharon says:

    Alexandra – sorry about the delay in approving your comment. WordPress is *supposed* to email me but that doesn’t seem to be working properly, and I overlooked it till now.

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