What The Social World Has to Say About Our Hosts: Washington, DC



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Hello again everyone! This is Sheldon from Sysomos back again to explore what the social media world is saying about one of our Social Media Week host cities. Using Sysomos’ industry leading social media monitoring and analytics software, MAP and Heartbeat, I’ve been delving into the social media universe to see what people are saying about our host cities. Today I’ll be exploring the capitol of the USA, Washington, DC.

Doing a search for Washington, DC over the past six months brought up a ton of results throughout social channels. In that time period I was able to find 3.6 million blogs, 4.3 million online news articles, 3.2 million forum postings and 6.7 million tweets that mention Washington.

Trending those mentions of Washington over time we get the popularity chart below. Like most cities I’ve looked, Twitter is seems to mention this city the most. It’s interesting to note however, that unlike most cities, online news articles seem to mention Washington more than blogs or forums. Chances are this is because a lot of news stories are written about or from Washington as it’s the capitol of the US and home to the president, senate and congress.

When I looked for where these mentions of Washington were coming from, it helped to prove my suspicion as to why there was so much news mentioning it. We can see that 66.7% of all mentions were coming directly from the United States, meaning that the US talks a lot about what is happening in their nations capitol. We can also see that countries with strong ties to the US are showing here as well, like the UK (4.4%) and Canada (3.5%).

I then pulled up a buzzgraph to show what all the talk of Washington was about. Again, this helped to confirm my suspicion that a lot fo the talk had to do with politics coming from Washington. Here we can see words like “Barack” “Obama,” the President of the United States, “senator,” “congress” and “government”.

Next, I dove in a little deeper to see who was doing all this talking about Washington. I started in the blogs section and found that males seem to blog about Washington a lot more than females. Male bloggers make up 69% of the Washington conversation, while females round out the remaining 31%. I also found that bloggers between the ages of 21-35 talk about Washington the most, holding more than half of the conversation at 57%. Bloggers aged 36-50 also seem to be talking a fair bit about Washington at 26.3%

I then dug into what industry category of blogs were mentioning Washington the most. Here I found that blogs categorized as communication and art blogs are talking the most about Washington at 14.5% each. Education and accounting blogs come in second with 9.6% each. And I found another tie for third most amount of mentions between publishing and student blogs with 6.4% a piece.

I then looked into Twitter. Here I found that males were again dominating the conversation, but not nearly as much as they were on blogs. On Twitter, males accounted for 60% of the mentions of Washington while females made up the other 40%. I then pulled up a list of the top Twitter sources mentioning Washington. Again I found that news seems to be one of the main drivers in conversations about Washington. For instance, the two accounts with the most mentions of Washington were both news related. @livewashington accounted for 30.82% of the top accounts and @washing_dcnews another 17.12%.

Lastly, I dug into a few of the activity spikes we saw on the popularity graph above. The first spike I looked into was the large spike in Twitter mentions between August 22-24. Looking at the buzzgraph for this time period it became very clear that this spike was due to the “earthquake” that was felt up and down the east coast of North America. The “epicenter” of the “quake” was in “Virginia” which is right next to DC. The quake shook so hard that people were talking about the Washington “Monument” now having a slight lean to the left.

I then examined some of the other spikes I saw, but because there’s so much political news, there were very few full compelling stories to tell from looking at some of the text analytics of what was going on in them. So, I thought that I would just show an example of what I mean. Below I looked at the second largest spike in the graph, which was December 22-24. In the buzzgraph we can see a bunch of general political talk about things like “tax” “cutting” and “unemployment.” We can also see talk of the people in the US government like “senators,” “congress” and, of course, “Barack” “Obama.”

It appears that when it comes to Washington, even when the social media world thinks of it, it’s all politics. I’ll be back again shortly with another Sysomos look at another host city as we get ever so close to Social Media Week.

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