Feb 9, 2013

Activity on #Shahbag in Twitter: the people, what they are talking, what they are sharing. Part 1

As the movement of Bangladeshis is gaining its momentum, more and more Bangladeshis are using social network services like Twitter and Facebook to discuss about the movement, sharing videos, organizing events regarding this movement.

For last three days I am collecting the tweets and the Twitter networks of the people who are Twitting with the hashtag #Shahbag. And many of the tweets are from very new users, those people joined Twitter with the spirit to share the words, to tell the world how they feel about this movement, I could see that they still do not have any profile picture, so Twitter used the default 'egg' icon for their profile pictures. Twitter might notice that how an event like this can increase their user base.

At the end of the day in Feb7, I drew this Twitter network using the Social network analysis tool called NodeXL:
Not that big, few people, and not many tweets, but let's see what happened the next day:
Now we have so many people that I had to use some encoding to keep all the people in the image, so I resized their profile icons: if they tweeted more, I made their icons bigger, and they are also in the middle. If they tweeted less, their profile icon in the image got smaller. And you also see the links between the people: these links indicate that they either retwewted, replied or mentioned each other. So, when A retweets his friend B's tweet, it draws an arrow from A to B.

But, now as you already guessed, there are more participation, more tweets, more people. Today when I pulled the data of all these people, I noticed that the graph looked like a hairball, so I tried to organize the people and their Twitter activity by groups. How is that ? Some people know each other personally or follow each other on Twitter, they reply to their Twitter friends, mention them and retweets each others' tweets, so they are connected with links. For example, you can retweet our friends' tweets,  reshare the URL they share in Twitter. And  your other followers also reshare or retweet the things you tweet or share. So now we all get connected this way. We will notice that now small clusters are formed within all those users. This is waht I got after making the groups of people who are more connected together (Fe 9th, 2013). And inside each group we can see one or two prominent people who are more active within their own group, so they are basically leading their group by creating more useful content that their friends are resharing or retweeting.

Also today's top most shared URL in Twitter regarding the #shahbag movement are as here: