Make Mark Reynolds an All Star – More Analysis


Following up yesterday’s post with more data about the effectiveness of the get out the vote campaign to make Mark Reynolds of the Arizona Diamondbacks an All Star.

First let me say this:

MarkReynolds-ASG-Avatar

If you haven’t yet (at least 300 times) stop reading this and go vote RIGHT NOW!!!

Ok… now that we’ve taken care of the important business, let’s get to the data.

Here is the updated Tweets Per day including the full day yesterday (July 8th, 2009)

Tweets-Per-Day-02

Nice spike in volume on July 8th… it looks like the Twitter campaign for Mark is building some steam. Let’s look deeper into the numbers to see if we can attribute this surge in Tweets to the Vote for Mark Reynolds campaign.

Mark-Tweets

Yep, that is impressive. More than a third of the tweets yesterday mentioned Mark specifically. I think it is safe to say the Vote for Mark Reynolds campaign is driving the increased volume… what else can we see…

Vote-tweets

Again, a nice chunk of the Tweet volume were “vote” tweets. This is a nice indication of the viral effect. Or to put it in non-Social Media terms, people are clearly talking about the Vote for Mark Reynolds campaign.

who-is-tweeting

This is the graph the Diamondbacks (and more broadly) MLB should be focusing on. Look at the growth in the number of Twitter users (aka people) participating in the conversation… being engaged with the brand. The raw numbers aren’t as important as the trend line… and the trend line is phenomenal.

The million dollar question is, what now. Can the Dbacks and MLB sustain this level of engagement, or will we see a corresponding drop off starting at 4pm today when voting ends? Stay tuned…

One other thing… I personally would LOVE to see this data correlated with the actual votes cast by day/hour. If you’ve got a spare second send @MLB a message on Twitter… point them to this post and tell them you’d love to see that information too!!! I’d be happy to help them put it together.

Did John McCain’s Tweet help Mark Reynolds All Star Game chances?


Yesterday Mark Grace and Daron Sutton (CORRECTION: Todd Walsh set up and conducted the interview) managed to get Senator John McCain to endorse Mark Reynolds bid to be the MLB All Star Game Final Vote winner for the National League.

mccain-tweet

For reference, Senator McCain sent this tweet out at approximately 4pm Pacific (1600). All times in the analysis below are Pacific.

Today @MLB wondered… did McCain’s tweet have any measurable impact?

mlb-tweet

Well I happen to be tracking all things Diamondbacks using justSignal – my solution for helping businesses both engage and learn from their fans via Social Media (drop me a note if you are interested in signing up). So let’s take a look at the data and see what we can see…

First some background. justSignal collects every Tweet (and YouTube video, Flickr photo, Blog Post and Backtype Blog Comment) about the Dbacks. We cache all this data for 30 days (when you sign up have the ability to download all the data and store it in your own database). So we have 30 days worth of Social Media data stored for this analysis.

The average Tweets per Day for the last 30 days is 334, but to really determine how yesterday (July 7th, 2009) compares let’s take a look at the daily average number of tweets for the last 30 days:

dbacks-tweets-per-day

We can see that yesterday (July 7th, 2009) had a much higher than average number of tweets. As a matter of fact, it is the second highest number of tweets in the last 30 days – only surpassed by June 9th (I really need to go check out that day and see what happened).

We, however, are looking for any specific change in the data as a result of McCain’s tweet… so let’s dig deeper.

Here is the average number of Tweets per Hour of day as measured over the last 30 days:

avg-tweets-per-hour

Pretty clear pattern – the number of tweets ramps up a bit before game time and peaks around the end of the game. The ramp is pretty smooth.

Now lets look at the Tweets per hour for yesterday (July 7th, 2009):

tweets-per-hour-07-07-2009

The first thing we notice is a marked jump in Tweet volume the hour after Senator McCain’s Tweet (1700 Pacific). The average 1600/1700 hours are 19.8 and 21.7 respectively. Yesterday however, we saw a jump from 18 to 45 in the same period. We also see that the peak number of tweets per hour (83) is well above average. The question is, are these levels unprecedented – or simply normal variations from the average?

When we review hours 16 and 17 over the 30 day period we see several other examples of large jumps. For example, on June 13th the values for hours 16 and 17 were 19 and 38 respectively. On June 16th the values went from 10 to 38. Given those examples I think it is safe to say the volume change yesterday isn’t extraordinary.

The peak hour Tweets – 83 in hour 21 – is also not extraordinary in the sample. For example, on June 12th in hour 20 there were 73 Tweets. On June 30th in hour 17 there were 85 Tweets.

One last statistic… in the last 30 days there are only 26 tweets that mention Senator McCain and the Diamondbacks. Two on June 8th, one on June 9th, 15 on July 7th and 8 so far today.

Given that Senator McCain has nearly 1 million followers I think it is safe to say his endorsement of Mark Reynolds had essentially no impact.

I’d love to tell you Senator McCain’s endorsement was enough to put Mark in the all star game… but that isn’t going to get it done.

Cmon Dbacks Fans!!!!

MarkReynolds-ASG-Avatar

06/13/2009 16 19
06/13/2009 17 3806/13/2009 16 19
06/13/2009 17 38

On Iran, Technology and Social Media

There is a reason we value art and those who create it. I could write 3 or 4 hundred words about how technology and Social Media are making it impossible for despots to control the message… or I could just point you to the justSignal FreeIran site and get out of the way and let Peter Himmelman (who I’m proud to know) use his art to say just about everything that needs to be said.

Social Media – Perspective and Predictions

You would assume – since I’m the founder and CEO of a company that is selling a Social Media product, justSignal – that I’m a huge fan of “Social Media”. Perhaps I’m even a Social Media Expert. You’d assume I was going to tell you that Social Media will change everything. You’d assume that I’d tell you that Social Media will force companies to fundamentally change how they do business – they will all have to love their customers, engage them in conversation, make sure their every need is met. You’d assume that I’d be creating products that were directed at companies willing to make the culture change required to excel at Social Media – variously described as a culture of listening or a culture of engagement. You might assume any or all of those things… but you’d be wrong.

Social Media is mired in a massive hype cycle. All of the benefits are massively overstated, the value proposition is stated in only the most vague of terms and everyone is certain they know exactly what the outcome will be – the problem is, they can’t all be right. So, what is someone supposed to think, and why?

So, in an effort to clarify my position for you (and me) – I’m going to walk you through my point of view. You don’t need to like it, and you certainly are not required to agree; but I do hope this gives you some things to think about.

Continue reading “Social Media – Perspective and Predictions”

Is FollowFriday even Valuable?

I’ve been tracking FollowFriday for a while now and using justSignal to power FollowFridays.com – and today it really, really looked like FollowFriday had jumped the shark.

Here’s the thing. If you compose your FollowFriday tweets like:

#followfriday @joe @mary @steve @beth

You really aren’t adding any value to FollowFriday – as a matter of fact I’d argue you are just creating noise. Here is why. The simple reality is that I only follow about 10 or 15 people who I know well enough, trust enough, and have enough of a complete relationship that I would simply follow someone they told me to. And odds are I’ve been following those people for some time now and follow nearly everyone they would recommend.

So your @username missle for FollowFriday has no effect on me. I’m not following them… my guess is very few others will either.

But, if you compose your FollowFriday tweet like:

#followfriday Follow @micah because he came up with this and @strebel because he has mad design skills

I can determine if I want to follow those people based on WHY you follow them… not just because you said so. Even more powerful is the ability to head over to FollowFridays.com and enter a filter on the Tweet Stream (click on “filter this content”) for “cool” or “design” or whatever it is you are looking for and see JUST the FollowFriday Tweets with that word in them.

Today, based on what I was seeing and hearing it appeared that the majority of the tweets for FollowFriday looked like the first example. If that were the case – I’d have to say FollowFriday had outlived it’s usefulness.

Conveniently – because we us justSignal to track FollowFriday – we have access to each and every tweet sent about FollowFriday. So I decided to rely on data… and here it is:

tweets-of-value2

NOTE: Tweets of Value is defined as any tweet that does not contain all @names and hash tags. Raw hour by hour data posted after the jump.

As you can see – while a significant number of the tweets (about 20% overall) were just hash tags and @names the vast majority actually contained useful words (hopefully) describing why we should follow the people being recommended.

I’ll grant you that we did not perform any kind of semantic analysis on these tweets trying to determine intent to state why someone should be followed, but I’m still pleasantly surprised that a consistent 80% of the tweets were not all @names and hash tags.

Make sure you tell everyone – only do FollowFriday recommendations with reasons… it is much more effective and keeps FollowFriday valuable.

One other thing I’ll take a moment to mention (shameless plug) – How cool is it that you can think of something interesting to discover from Social Media data and immediately be able to go answer that question? That is part of the power of justSignal… check it out.

Continue reading “Is FollowFriday even Valuable?”

justSignal Upgrades, or My Lame Attempt to Explain Ignoring My Blog

I’ve gone through another one of those spells where I just didn’t write anything here – and to say I’ve been busy isn’t enough – hell I’m always busy.

I also can’t claim lack of interesting content – I could write six really compelling pieces on ASU Startup Weekend alone.

So we’ll just agree that my energy for writing posts took a bit of a vacation… but now I’m back.

Before I get back to my regular banality I need to get a bunch of housekeeping taken care of, so this post will catch you up on the justSignal updates, upgrades and new features.

Details after the jump…

Continue reading “justSignal Upgrades, or My Lame Attempt to Explain Ignoring My Blog”

There Are Practical Limitations on Real-Time

No one is a bigger fan of real-time than I am. I’ve been working on real-time communications for 10 years, and I intend to continue to work in that space for the foreseeable future. That being said, let me be clear about one thing: There are practical limitations on real-time.

FriendFeed launched their new UI today in beta (check it out here). I am a huge fan of FriendFeed – and have been for a while now. They are doing more to advance the real-time web and social aggregation than any other service. But…

The new user interface (UI) leaves me with a single takeaway. This beta clearly demonstrates the practical limitations of real-time. If we begin with the end in mind, and clearly say that real-time exists as an enabler of:

  1. Communication
  2. Information Discovery

we quickly see that at some point real-time becomes a barrier to both.

New FriendFeed User Interface
New FriendFeed User Interface

I follow roughly 400 people on FriendFeed – which isn’t a particularly big number – and with the new full real-time user interface both communication and information discovery become all but impossible.

People are going to tell you “you’ll get used to it” – I actually saw one user compare it to flying a plane – information overload at first, but once you do it a while it starts to become less overwhelming. That may be true, but communication and information discovery shouldn’t be like flying a plane; which is a decidedly life or death experience. It should be streamlined and optimized to take advantage of the limited attention of the user. As importantly it should allow the user to take control of the experience and allocate their attention as they see fit – dynamically – as their attention allows.

And this is exactly where the new FriendFeed user interface breaks down. It requires 100% of you attention, 100% of your mental cycles – and it is still almost impossible to actually accomplish your goal; communication or information discovery.

FriendFeed has the building blocks in place to better manage your limited attention, but they are tangential to the central user experience and lack critical features. Filters and lists can solve the problem of limited attention, but they must be at least as functional as the current user interface – including the ability to post and follow the information in real time.

This puts the user in control of how they allocate their scarce attention – too much to pay attention to, tighten up the filter – not enough action, broaden the filter and get more.

At justSignal we are solving these problems as a platform for other companies, brands, or organizations to leverage in their content. FriendFeed needs to keep their eye on the ball, because they are solving it (IMHO) for the individual consumer.

The “ball” is enabling communcation and information discovery… that should be getting 100% of our attention.