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November 22, 2014Published by: Drew

Battenhall’s social data insights in today’s Guardian

Guardian Twitterstorm

Battenhall social media data analysis was used on page 9 of today's Guardian newspaper coverage of the twitterstorm that has taken hold of the UK, when MP Emily Thornberry tweeted something that would end with her ultimately losing her job as a Labour frontbencher.

Thornberry tweeted showing a picture of a house in Rochester with a van on its driveway and three St George's Cross flags on its front with the caption "Image from #Rochester". Replies ensued, online and off. "Don't be alarmed, that's just a working class person, they are actually often very nice" read one.

We took a look at how it all developed, which tweets and blog posts caused the rapid spread, how reactions from the twittersphere influenced the media, the public and ultimately the make-up of the Labour Party. Our findings are in The Guardian's graphic, above, and in print in today's paper.

Battenhall social media data insights

We're increasingly being asked to have our social data insights used to help the media with their reporting. Here we are, above, in Sky News, The Telegraph and in City AM in just the last two months. If you are on the look out for some similar insights for brand or news analysis, do get in touch.

January 23, 2014Published by: Tom Bradley

The ‘infectious disease’ that is Facebook

2014-01-23 16.52.23

When a user slowly becomes immune to its actions and attractions, a group of researchers at Princeton University predict that 80% of Facebook's users will have abandoned the site by 2017.

John Cannarella and Joshua Spechler based their research on the number of times 'Facebook' was entered into Google. Google Trends' chart show that the searches peaked in late 2012 but have begun to trail off since.

"Ideas, like diseases, have been shown to spread infectiously between people before eventually dying out, and have been successfully described with epidemiological models,"

the authors claim in a paper entitled 'Epidemiological modelling of online social network dynamics'.

When researching, Spechler and Cannarella used the SIR (susceptible, infected, recovered) model of disease, which creates equations to map the spread and recovery of epidemics.

Also, as part of the paper, they tested various equations against the lifespan of Myspace. Myspace was founded in 2003 and reached its peak in 2007 with 300 million registered users, before falling out of use by 2011. With that as a base, they then adapted their findings to Facebook.

The 870 million people using Facebook via their smartphones each month could explain the drop in Google searches – those looking to log on are no longer doing so by typing the word into Google. But Facebook's CFO David Ebersman admitted on an earnings call with analysts that during the previous three months:

"We did see a decrease in daily users, specifically among younger teens."

Perhaps without innovation, Facebook's days are numbered.


April 16, 2013Published by: Drew

10 reasons why news is evil

news montage

If you have ever seen happiness in the person who is 'blissfully unaware' then this article in The Guardian may appeal to you. An extract from the book, The Art of Thinking Clearly, by Joseph Dobelli, the article lays out 10 reasons why news is bad for you and how giving up reading news will make you happier. Dobelli contends that investigative journalism is always relevant and is the way forward for the media.

Here are Dobelli's 10 reasons why news is bad for you:

  1. News misleads

  2. News is irrelevant

  3. News has no explanatory power

  4. News is toxic for your body

  5. News increases cognitive errors

  6. News inhibits thinking

  7. News works like a drug

  8. News wastes time

  9. News makes us passive

  10. News kills creativity

We have come up with 10 reasons why news is a force for good, when created and digested the right way:

  1. News informs

  2. News adds relevance

  3. News has an explanatory power

  4. News can nourish your mind

  5. News increases knowledge

  6. News opens your mind

  7. News works like a drug

  8. News saves time (if you know what's coming, you will make better decisions)

  9. News makes us engaging

  10. News breeds creativity

What do you think? News a force for good, or evil?

Graphic courtesy of The Guardian. Thank you @katemagee for originally linking to the article.