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The Guardian has recently released an alternative way of revealing the social impact of important news stories. More specifically, they have tracked all the tweets regarding the News of World scandal, and visualized the relative frequency of common keywords by way of animated bubble graph.

At least two versions exist: one that aggregates the tweets regarding the parlementary interrogation of Murdoch [guardian.co.uk] (be sure not to miss how Twitter explodes when he got physically attacked around 16:48!), and one that follows the #notw hashtag over a period of 4 days.

I believe this visualization would have even be better if the middle image of Murdoch would update according to the shown timeline, and access to some actual tweets would be given.

See also MTV Movie Awards Tweet Tracker, MTV Video Music Awards Tweet Tracker and Replaying the Twitter Messages during the World Cup 2010 Matches.


I'm curious is anyone feels this type of infographic provides any real value? Does knowing that the words shaving, pie and cream were tweeted a lot during his testimony help tell any story?

I find that all the twitter graphics I see lack actual information. Can word counts by themselves ever tell a story? Does anyone have any good examples of this type of graphic?


Thu 21 Jul 2011 at 4:08 AM

Agree with Todd. There might be more value if they removed low-semantic-content words like "back", but still. This seems more like a "we can now do this so let's do it" experiment with Twitter data, than a valuable visualization.

Fri 22 Jul 2011 at 2:21 AM

We have had live, at that time, a similar visualisation enhanced with moderation tools, slimmed down to only 12 terms, many of which could be biagrams, and presented in real-time with changes reflected every 30 seconds, both in content and visually. I believe it was more effective, though as with all these things, one had to have the context figured out, to begin with.

The graphic side is very simple, and has been developed together with the BBC for their BBC News coverage of the Royal Wedding. I can see I cannot share a URL in the comment, but I'd be very keen on hearing your opinions--our blog features a couple of speeded up video captures from two separate days, and some observations on the relevance of what we captured.

Wed 03 Aug 2011 at 6:14 PM
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