19 May 2010

Liberal Democrat Coalition Backlash?

Prominent left-wing blog Liberal Conspiracy recently called for "left-liberals to join Labour" and Alastair Campbell also tweeted that it was "good to see Lib Dem defections to Labour still going - keep 'em coming".

Does Google confirm this trend? For the first time, in the week to 15th May, searches for 'join Labour' has generated enough volumes to begin trending in the UK. As a comparison, I've run it against 'join Facebook' and fascinatingly more people have been searching for 'join Labour' this past week.

Is the worst of the Facebook privacy backlash over?

Although this chart suggests that the peak for people searching for how to delete their Facebook profile has passed, in reality searches for the site always dip on Sundays and Mondays (after peaking on Fridays and Saturdays) so we'll need to wait until next weekend to see if the climb down has had any effect.

Meanwhile, unless people are using radically different search terms on the two sides of the Atlantic (and even looking at 'join Facebook' illustrates the same pattern), a comparison of people searching for 'Facebook sign up' against 'delete Facebook' suggests the problem is much bigger in the US than the UK.

16 May 2010

The beginning of the end for Facebook?

Concerns over privacy issues have engulfued Facebook in recent weeks and the widespread media coverage has seen searches for the site in May fall for the first time in its history.

The past week has also seen a dramatic surge in people searching for 'delete facebook' (courtesy of Google Insights for Search). Unlike MySpace and, even email sites such as Hotmail and Gmail, for whom delete searches have remained relatively stable once they first start trending, Facebook has seen a sharp increase in searches for 'delete facebook' since the end of 2008.

Confirming this is a global problem, searches for 'effacer facebook', 'löschen facebook' and 'cancellare facebook' have all followed a very similar pattern (although the latter actually peaked in February) on Google Trends.

Meanwhile, underlining its rising popularity, 'delete twitter' is barely registering in comparison (although it did begin trending in the US in April 2009 and, like MySpace, has remained stable - albeit at much lower volumes since).

06 May 2010

Twitter Exit Poll - 10pm

With a final total of 1,052 tweets at 10pm I'm going against the exit polls indicating a hung parliament and calling it for the Conservatives with a majority of 74 seats!

This social media analysis of the 2010 election was based on a (quick and rather unscientific) analysis of tweets stating for "just voted" in connection with all the parties or their respective leaders.

Election 2010: Social Media Analysis - 8:45PM update

Following on from my earlier post and with the sample size up to a marginally more representative 823 posts, the Conservative lead has been cut back to 100 seats - largely due to gains from other parties (including the most recent tweets from XROBOX - "Just voted, SNP. McGovern out you scumbag, Would also prefer a torrie majority than labour staying in power"; CHMP4Z - "has just voted UKIP"; and DAMBNRY - "Just voted. Was a toss up between Labour and Green but I went with Green.").

Labour are still languishing in third with regard to percentage share (22.8%) but would be up 11 seats to 180.

Nick Clegg: Word Cloud Analysis

The Daily Mail has recently accused Nick Clegg of disguising his past views - does an analysis of the words used most commonly in his major speeches from 2007 to date indicate any shift in emphasis?

After winning the two-month contest to succeed Sir Menzies Campbell in September, his appetite for change and ambition to lead the party to greater heights is apparent...

While his first conference speech as party leader in September 2008 illustrates how focused he was on the Labour government, rather than his own party's policies...

His speech to the Autumn conference in September 2009 sees a shift back to change and more focus on the Conservatives than Labour...

However, launching the manifesto in April 2010, Clegg is much more interested in his own party and establishing a fairer Britain. The theme of change appears to have been dropped in order to differentiate himself from Cameron and the City is for the first time a focus of attack.

While the TV debates clearly buoyed support for the party, this word cloud analysis also highlights how focusing on his own party's policies (rather than Labour or the Conservatives) has helped the Liberal Democrats to carve out a larger share of support through clearer messages that resonate with the public.

Facebook Fans: Clegg v Cameron

As previously reported here first, it wasn't until as late as 18th April that Nick Clegg first accumulated more fans on Facebook. However, in the three weeks to election day he has soared ahead of Cameron to claim at least one victory on May 6th.

Election 2010: Social Media Analysis

Using the admittedly rather unscientific research technique of analysing tweets for "just voted" in connection with all the parties or their respective leaders signals, as of 6pm, the Conservatives would be heading for a majority of 140 seats.

Considering the supposed left-wing bias of Twitter this makes for interesting reading or is perhaps a reflection of the fact right-wing voters are more likely to vote before work...

Here is how the electoral map of the UK would look: