Machines can understand how we feel about something through our words. Where as before they could only decipher between positive and negative sentiment, digital is continuing to increase it’s emotional range.
In the world of commerce feelings are guarded, but the unavoidable truth is that even in business emotions dictate our actions every day. It’s the bottom-line below the bottom-line.
We all try our best to remain professionally pokerfaced, yet many yearn to express themselves freely – and they do, in ever increasing numbers on social media.
I spent two days at the TechCrunch event taking in the atmosphere and talking to others in attendance, while analytics company Blurrt collected and analysed all the tweets connected to the event during this time.
Before ascertaining the mood of the crowd we need to start off with the frequency of tweets.
The event generated 26,879 tweets during the two days, of which 10,996 were retweets.
The first day of the event generated the most Twitter engagement with 14,987 tweets posted, compared with 11,853 tweets on the second day.
These tweets had a combined potential reach of 28,907,534 individual Twitter users.
The 26,879 tweets are made up of just 8,390 individual @user contributors. This figure shows that there was a moderate but committed group of individuals discussing TechCrunch.
In comparison, a popular TV show will often have a broad but disconnected group of contributors mentioning the show on a one-off basis during its broadcast.
At TechCrunch we still see a high volume of tweets, but a low unique user figure demonstrating a dedicated community of attendees discussing the event.
More males than females engaged with the event on Twitter, with 31% of tweets coming from males and 10% coming from females. The remaining 59% came from businesses and organisations tweeting about the event.
The sentiment was consistently positive throughout, with 30% of tweets expressing a positive sentiment, 65% expressing a neutral sentiment and just 5% expressing a negative sentiment.
Language Analyst, Anna Dent from Blurrt added “the idea of a connected community of attendees at TechCrunch is also further demonstrated by the emotions expressed in tweets discussing the event. After love, thankfulness was the most commonly expressed emotion present in tweets. The attendees sort to thank the speakers, competition winners sort to thank voters, and those involved in the event sort to thank attendees for coming.”
Happiness tweet themes mainly included excitement about attending the event and the enjoyment of the Startup Battlefield and Augmented Reality in particular.
Thankfulness tweet themes focused on thanking Techcrunch for the event, and those who attended. Also thanking voters regarding the competitions held during the event.
The trending topics which drove the conversation around the event were ‘the Startup Battlefield’, ‘Sir Alex Ferguson’, ‘the talks’, ‘internet connected remote drones’, ‘CEO Bastian Lehmann’ and ‘Silicon Valley’.
Example tweets that surfaced from Blurrt:
https://twitter.com/TechCrunch/status/673904833422745600 (this was the most retweeted tweet for this topic)
Sir Alex Ferguson
https://twitter.com/TechCrunch/status/673805227825434624 (this was the most retweeted tweet for this topic)
https://twitter.com/TechCrunch/status/673852197130665984 (this was the most retweeted tweet for this topic)
https://twitter.com/craigbrownphd/status/674172332382904320 (this was the most retweeted tweet for this topic)
CEO Bastian Lehmann
The top Twitter account driving the conversation around the event was, not surprisingly, TechCrunch themselves, who tweeted 192 times during the event. Other top contributors also include senior writer and video host Katie Roof, TechCrunch editor Mike Butcher, AOL, and technology reporter Rob Price. These @accoutns were influential, not only because of the number of followers they have and their Twitter verification (blue tick), but also in the number of times they contributed to the conversation throughout the event.
‘Trending’ is now taking a substantial leap to actually knowing more about how crowds of tweeters are feeling with a new set of metrics that can help to measure their emotions beyond just a positive or negative sentiment score.
Supporting my own subjective experience on the ground, these results show that although there is a clear business agenda for companies at TechCrunch, there is also a distinct community who use this event to connect and share ideas.