The tale of a trend: 270,000 views of our #IndyRef visualisation

Last week we had our biggest “viral” experience, and it was such an intense and fascinating experience that we thought we should document it.

Last week we had our own most “viral” moment to date, and it was such an intense and fascinating experience that we thought we should document it.

In short we created a visualisation that wasn’t necessarily the best looking, innovative or enlightening one we have ever made, but through various factors it was viewed more than 270,000 times, 100 times as much as our typical visualisations are.

September 18th saw the Scottish Referendum finally come to vote. We had been watching the build-up on Twitter for some time so knew that the #Yes campaign was significantly more vocal, at least in Scotland, which was very much at odds with the Polls.

That same week we had added some new functionality to our visualisation tool which enabled displaying words rather than just bubbles, so we thought it could be a good opportunity to see how that looked for the #IndyRef.

We created a visualisation, focused on the UK, which illustrated the strengths of where Yes and No were most popular. We used the three most popular hashtags for each camp – #voteyes, #yesscotland, #voteyesscotland for Yes, and #voteno, #bettertogether, #nothanks for No.

You can see the visualisation here.

Sure enough it was very visually striking, particularly because how geographically diverse the Yes and No camps were. Scotland looked to be all Yes and England all No. It was also interesting to see so many Yes votes from around the world.

Words also worked well for this visualisation because they were short, and in this context it felt more emotive than circles.

We had also been working on the creation of animated GIFs for our visualisations so thought it a good opportunity to see how much they increased the visibility of our tweets.

From the moment we tweeted out the visualisation, we could see it was getting shared widely and quickly, much more than normal. Within about 30 minutes it was our most retweeted tweet, and we assumed it would tail off again quite quickly. Soon though it hit a new level which it sustained as it began to be shared in timezones that were waking up (particularly the east coast of the USA).

The earliest retweets and mentions were from passionate supporters from the Yes campaign, because it did appear to show a lot of support for them.

Many journalists and news organisations also helped spread it, because it did look like an interesting angle on a huge story. In the end we saw that it was embedded or linked to by sites such as The Scotsman, The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, El Pais, The Age, Zeit, El Pais, Buzzfeed, Mashable, Vox, Huffington Post, and Daily Kos.

For the next few hours we were caught up in a surreal world of seeing larger and larger waves of people mention it and view it. After seeing many great visualisations get resoundingly ignored, it was great to see one that got such great feedback.

Through Google Analytics and our site logs we could see how thousands of people were watching it simultaneously. Through Twitter’s own analytics we could see the tweet engagement, and we were tracking mentions of Trendsmap and the url of the visualisation through Twitter’s advanced search. We also used our own Trendsmap analytics to get more detail on who the biggest sharers were, where they were, and what words were being used to describe it. Fortunately it was mostly “cool”.

It became quite meta when the tweets about the visualisation started appearing in the top tweets within the visualisation. This was even more of an achievement because we didn’t even use the same hashtags in our original tweet (#IndyRef) as those being tracked in the visualisation.

We then started getting tweets that Trendsmap itself was trending, from our trending alert accounts.

We had sent the original tweet at 10.35pm our time (we are based in Australia), so by 1am our adrenalin was running low, and we decided to call it a night.

We also wanted to be up early for the end of polling in just a few hours. Unfortunately this meant we missed the biggest tweet from none other than Alex Salmond himself, kicking off another big wave of interest.

When we got up a few hours later we saw that it had received over almost 200,000 views and was still going strong. Gradually interest faded as the results started to come in, which of course told a different story. When the final results were announced we then saw that the No mentions did in the come out on top in the end, and it becomes quite a poignant end to such a passionate campaign, as the No mentions finally mute the Yes.

And of course, there is a lesson that you cannot boil down the votes across a country to a few hashtags. Putting aside how representative Twitter can be, any group seeking change (Yes) will need to shout louder than those who were content to keep things going as they were (No).

So far it has had more than 270,000 views which we are obviously thrilled with. Our original tweet has been retweeted 1,985 times to date, and had 295,065 impressions, according to Twitter analytics. Only 3% (8,255) of the views came from that original tweet, and another 26% (~60,000) from other tweets. There were actually more views from Facebook (~80,000) than Twitter (~70,000) in the end.

Thanks for getting to the end of the story. We hope to have another similar story soon! If you have any ideas of visualisations you would like to see, or if you would like to test the visualisation tool when it is available, please get in touch!

Big co-ordinated push for #WithoutTheNHS helps it trend across UK

There was a carefully co-ordinated campaign to tweet the hashtag #WithoutTheNHS at 8pm GMT on 8th September.

There was a carefully co-ordinated campaign to tweet the hashtag #WithoutTheNHS at 8pm GMT on 8th September.

We tracked over 32,000 tweets, and you can see below the vast majority of those were sent within the first hour.

The campaign was organised by @butnhs (Big Up The NHS) with the aim to highlight the great work the NHS (National Health Service) does in the UK.

It was very successful in becoming an official Twitter trend nationally in UK, plus 13 cities. It reached #2 nationally, in Hull and Stoke-on-Trent (or should that be Stoke-on-Trend?) You can see the full iTrended report here.


How the #Glasgow2014 opening ceremony looked on Twitter

Scottish terriers, dancing teacakes, the Queen and a kiss

That about sums up the #Glasgow2014 #OpeningCeremony. We’ve used our Analytics, Visualisation and iTrended tools to find out where it got most interest.

#Glasgow2014 officially trended nationally in UK, South Africa and New Zealand, plus an additional 20 cities. The iTrended report contains all the positions it reached and for how long, and you can view it here.

#OpeningCeremony also trended Worldwide, in South Africa, UK and 20 other cities. You can see the iTrended report here.

The Queen also trended in Ireland, South Africa and 8 cities, and Scottish Terriers even trended Worldwide!

We’ve put together a visualisation that illustrates where people were tweeting about it from (mostly the UK), as well as the top tweets.

Where has @wherenext been popular?

Heineken launched their @wherenext campaign a week ago, with the aim to enable people to discover places that are happening on their night out.

If you tweet your location to @wherenext you are then presented with nightlife options nearby.

We’ve been tracking mentions of @wherenext with our Analytics tool to see where it’s been popular, and in general we’ve seen most activity in Western Europe and New York.

Of the 1200 tweets from 830 accounts, we located 56% to a city level.

The top cities were London, Paris and New York, and the top languages were English (51%), Spanish (9%) and Italian (7%).

Top cities

The activity has been relatively stable since the initial peak at launch. What is noticeable though is that mentions were a lot lower over the weekend, when perhaps you would expect people to be using the service more.

Top hashtags

Top words

We also noticed that 15% of tweets mentioned the hashtag #openyourcity, which suggests that those were from accounts associated with the brand.

We’ve put together a visualisation below which shows the main activity and top tweets during the week.

#APMAs highlights

The Alternative Press Music Awards happened last night, and #APMAs trended nationally in the US, Canada and UK, and as well as 47 cities (see the full iTrended report).

APMAs also trended Worldwide, in the US and 8 cities (see the full iTrended report).

As you can see it was pretty popular in a lot of other countries too.

If you missed it, check out our Twitter highlights on the visualisation below.

#GovHack and #GovCampAU – how they looked on Twitter

Thanks to the #GovHack and #GovCampAU organisers and participants there have been two great weekends in a row of “government 2.0” events across Australia.

The GovCamp website has a handy explanation for how GovHack and GovCamp differ:

GovHack in Australia is a hackathon-style program, more focused on practical innovation results through the work of developers and others harnessing digital technologies and open data. GovCamp is about dialogue and ‘social knowledge’: new ways of capturing emergent challenges and innovative approaches. The two initiatives are separate with different leadership and coordination teams, but with a shared parentage so we collaborate and share ideas quite a bit.

We used our Analytics and Visualisation tools to track the conversations that came out of them.


GovHack is “about finding new ways to do great things and encouraging open government and open data”, and the 2014 event took place from Friday 11 July at 7:30pm until Sunday 13 July 5:30pm.

There were several events across Australia as can be seen in the heatmap and list of top cities. The largest amount of tweets during the event came from Canberra, closely followed by Perth and Melbourne.

Overall there were 4,900 tweets from 960 different accounts during the 3 days of the event, and #GovHack officially trended on Twitter in Canberra and nationally in Australia. You can see an iTrended report of the positions it reached here.

The top hashtags outside #GovHack were #unleashedadl and #opendata.

Judging is now taking place, and the Red Carpet Awards take place in Brisbane on 10th August.

We’ve put together a visualisation which highlights the main activity and top tweets across the 3 days.

Click on the image to the right to start the visualisation >

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GovCamp “aims to provide open, participatory spaces for the free exchange of ideas and experience”, and the 2014 event took place on Saturday 19 July.

Again, there were several events across the country, and again, Canberra led the way with the most tweets, followed by Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.

Overall there were 1,700 tweets from 360 different accounts on the day, and #GCAU officially trended on Twitter in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and nationally in Australia. You can see an iTrended report of the positions it reached here.

Again, we’ve put together a visualisation which highlights the main activity and top tweets across the day.

Click on the image to the right to start the visualisation >

Congratulations to the organisers of both events, and all participants who donated their time and energies to work towards better governments across Australia.

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World Cup highlights – Visualisations for all 2014 matches

The last 4 weeks has seen the World Cup take over Twitter, with hundreds of millions of tweets making it a truly global event, and fortunately not a single vuvuzela.

We’ve crunched all the tweets to create highlights visualisations for every single match.

All the match visualisations are listed here

For each match you can see the global activity and a timeline chart for each team, as well as the top tweets.

You can pause or change the speed of the animation in the bottom right, control the speed by scrolling the sidebar next to the tweets, or jump to particular moments by clicking on the timeline.

The map is interactive too – so you can zoom into a particular area.

Below is the visualisation for the final.

Click here to see links to visualisations for all the matches.

Wimbledon 2014 – Top Gentlemen’s Players on Twitter

We just covered the Wimbledon Ladies‘ tournament, and here follows the equivalent for the Gentlemen’s.

The graph below shows the relative mentions 10 most mentioned Gentlemen over the 2 weeks of the tournament. There’s a key at below that graph, and you can also hover over any stream you’ll be able to see the person that relates to.

You can clearly see the rise of Australian Nick Kyrgios through the rounds, with the defeat of Rafael Nadal in the fourth round. Also in a similar fashion was the rise of Canadian Milos Raonic, who nearly joined his compatriot, Euginie Bouchard in becoming the first Canadians into a Wimbledon final.

Roger Federer’s support on Twitter was very strong throughout, and even though he didn’t win, he is clearly a crowd favourite, and at least beat Novak on Twitter.

Again we have created a visualisation showing the last week of activity for the finalists. Below you can see a heatmap of mentions around world, a chart showing the volumes over the week, and at the side we’re displaying the top tweets.

There are controls to change the speed or pause the animation, and you can also view at your own speed by using the sidebar to the right of the tweets.