A national debate is stirring surrounding guns - who should have them and who shouldn’t, who should control or limit them. Regardless of political affiliation, this issue is extremely controversial due to recent tragic events involving guns. Dialog surrounding the issue on the web has been divided, with millions expressing opinions. We’ve analyzed these conversations, looking for opinion and insight into the feelings being shared around gun control.
First, we’ve measured sentiment, or expressed tone, in these discussions over the past year, looking for strength of support (green) versus opposition (red).Gun control sentiment
Following the deadly movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado on July 20, 2012, online discussion surrounding guns and new gun legislation rose prominently, but then quickly subdued. Similarly in December, the online chatter after a gunman killed Sandy Hook Elementary students and teachers in Newtown, Connecticut grew immensely.
As you can see in the chart below, when comparing the months of July and December, conversations surrounding gun rights, gun legislation, and gun control are significantly higher than the previous months. However, conversations surrounding gun debates after Sandy Hook still continue to be steadily present in a large amount of conversations happening online. Although we all know that Aurora was an equally devastating event, people tend to be more proactive when children are affected, ergo the immense spike and consistency in conversation surrounding gun rights and gun control after the Sandy Hook catastrophe took the lives of twenty innocent children.Gun control dialog volume
After analyzing online conversation around gun rights and gun control, we thought it would be interesting to take a deeper look into the declared reasons Americans own firearms. These conversations fell into four main categories: protection, collecting, hunting, and target/skeet shooting. In most online dialogue, protection or self defense was mentioned most often, followed by collecting.Reasons for gun ownership
The gun debate is just getting started. With conversations happening at all hours of the day and night, averaging several comments per second, Americans are never shy about having their voices heard. It will be interesting to see the outcome of this very controversial, yet important issue.
If you want to see how public opinion on gun rights and gun control have changed over the past 20 years, click here to read up on a Pew Research study.
The baseball season is underway, and with it comes warmer weather, loud fans, and hopefully some home runs. But what’s the one thing fans want next to them as they cheer on their team? Turns out, it’s not burgers or brats. It’s beer.
We decided to look into online conversations surrounding baseball to determine what people prefer to munch or sip during summer baseball games. We focused on beer, burgers, hot dogs, peanuts and nachos – your typical baseball treats. And just as we assumed, out of those 5 categories, beer dominates with 52% of the discussion, followed by the edible staples hot dogs and brats.Baseball Snack Conversation Share
Hot dogs and brats come in second, with 22% of conversations surrounding baseball snacks mentioning hot dogs. But, what’s America’s condiment of choice to put on their hot dogs? Surprisingly, mustard is mentioned positively in 53% of conversations, while ketchup is only mentioned in 30%, and relish in 17%. The graph below shows a comparison of mustard, ketchup, and relish.Hot Dog Condiments
Next, when we looked at condiment choices for hamburgers and cheeseburgers, ketchup (blue) took the lead with 39%, followed by mustard (red) with 34%, and mayonnaise (green) bringing up the rear with 27%.Hamburger Condiments
Although only 8% of the conversation in our search mentioned peanuts, we were surprised to find that the passion levels behind people writing about the salty snacks were through the roof compared to relatively low levels of passion for the other 4 categories.
Passion, a feature of Social Radar, is a computed score judging how passionate references to the query, in this case peanuts, tend to be. For example, when people are talking about peanuts they are using more expressive language. People talking about peanuts are saying things similar to “My absolute favorite part about going to baseball games is eating peanuts. I love them!” as opposed to “I got a bag of peanuts at the Cardinals game last night. They were good.”Passion for Peanuts
So, with that, go grab your sunglasses, seat cushions, and a nice cold beer. Don’t forget the peanuts. It’s baseball season, folks!
Alert! Magazine, from the Marketing Research Association, has published an article titled Deriving Insight From The Dialog Of Millions, which looks at the use of social data to power modern market research, authored by our very own Danielle Pederson. Check it out here:Alert! Magazine - Deriving Insight From The Dialog Of Millions
Today BlackBerry (formerly known as Research in Motion - RIM) revealed the finished BlackBerry 10 operating system, their newest development to revamp and update their mobile handsets. In addition, the company showed off two new devices: The Z10, a full touchscreen device, and the Q10, a device with both a touchscreen and a physical QWERTY keyboard. How were these announcements received?
First, let’s look at reception to the announcements in general. We’ve picked up nearly 1.5 million postings so far today, 612% higher than their trailing 30-day average volume, discussing the new BlackBerry products, so there is clearly strong interest here. That said, not all press is good press, so how was sentiment?BlackBerry 10 Sentiment
So far, reception looks very positive. 81% of sentimental comments have been positive about the new devices, which is a significant improvement over the 63% positivity the brand had a year ago.
Demographically, interest in BB10 is skewed strongly male, with only 24% of the conversation originating from females. This isn’t terribly surprising for the launch of a new gadget, however it is a bit disappointing in contrast to BlackBerry’s largest competitor, Apple, whom had a stronger 34% female presence with the discussion of the iPhone 5 launch in September.BlackBerry 10 Gender Distribution
Looking globally, most of the discussion about the new devices is coming from the US. That said, there is strong interest from BlackBerry’s home country of Canada, the United Kingdom and India. India is a key market for BlackBerry, as they’ve seen success there in the past, with still-strong market share, and are making a sales push with these new devices.BlackBerry 10 Country Map
Of the two devices revealed today, the Z10 and Q10, which is garnering more attention?BB10 Device Volume
The Z10 is clearly driving more interest. In discussions of the announcement, this large touchscreen device is mentioned in 13.0% of dialog, compared to the Q10 QWERTY keyboard device at just 6.8%, just a bit over half the volume of the Z10. This was a bit surprising, as the physical keyboard is a well-known BlackBerry trait.
Next let’s look at which competitors are discussed most when talking about these announcements.BB10 Competitive Analysis
Apple and their iPhone is the most discussed competitor. The most well-known smartphone is mentioned in 8.8% of conversations around these announcements, which is close to 30% more than the Q10 device announced! That is pretty remarkable for Apple, and likely disappointing for BlackBerry. Google’s Android platform is second, mentioned in 6.3%, with Microsoft’s Windows Phone in third at 2.8% .
The chart below really says it all. This shows the top 6 most discussed devices in these conversations, showing how strong the iPhone fares compared to BlackBerry’s own devices in discussions about this launch event.BB10 Device Comparison
In closing, it looks like BlackBerry 10 is a much-needed advance for the BlackBerry platform. It is important to note the devices are not yet in customers’ hands (although some reviews are trickling out, such as The Verge's review of the Z10 device), but just based on reception of the launch event, things are looking better for BlackBerry. BlackBerry has fallen into quite a hole with US market share, though, so it will take more than a well-received launch event to keep them relevant. It will be interesting to see how this progresses over 2013.
Jack Neff at AdvertisingAge has written a piece on Wal-Mart’s latest PR efforts, using Social Radar data to analyze the impact to Wal-Mart’s perception in contrast to several stories impacting the brand over 2012. Check it out here:http://adage.com/article/news/walmart-nabs-good-pr-vet-hiring-buy-american-push/239207/
The Consumer Electronics Show took place last week in Las Vegas. This annual event is a major show for electronics companies to reveal new products, open up new industries and generally excite us consumers for the coming year.
Upon analyzing dialog around the show, something that was quickly apparent this year was the show seemed to draw less attention than years prior. We used Social Radar’s historical dataset and trending normalization to validate this hypothesis:CES Historical Conversation Volume
We see that the 2013 show generated less than two-thirds the volume of the shows in 2010 and 2011. As we went deeper, there is some reason why. This year’s show held little in the way of major new product launches or surprise announcements.
So what was discussed most? There were a few major themes of this year’s show, including 4K “Ultra HD” televisions, mobile devices and wearable computing, among others. We analyzed some of these broad categories within dialog about CES to see what garnered the most attention:CES Industry Conversation Volume (Click to Enlarge)
As we can see, mobile dominated the attention at CES 2013. Smartphones and tablets were everywhere, along with devices to interact with them. Qualcomm, a major mobile processor manufacturer, held the keynote. Mobile was the story of the week.
However, coming up in second, we see traditional PCs running Windows. Windows 8 has provided PC builders with an opportunity for unique designs that support both tablet-like touch input along with more traditional computer interactions. To this end, makers like Dell, Lenovo and HP have announced convertible devices, Windows tablets and some very crazy designs to go after this new market.
Which company got the most attention from consumers? Was it Sony, who certainly tried to get a lot of attention? Or perhaps Samsung, the largest consumer electronics company in the world, who plays in just about every space at this show?CES Company Conversation Volume (Click to Enlarge)
The surprising answer is Google, who was not even officially at the show. Why? Google’s Android open mobile operating system powered a phenomenal number of devices shown at CES, keeping the search giant top-of-mind, even if not officially present.
In second, we see Apple, another surprise non-attendee. This is explained by Apple’s dominance in mobile. Numerous accessories, services and add-on products for Apple’s devices were being shown. Additionally, the iPhone has huge mindshare in the mobile phone space, helping it to permeate conversation throughout the industry. For example, Sony announced the Xperia Z, a new smartphone, at CES this year, and the iPhone was mentioned in a whopping 20% of conversations discussing the Sony device.
The company actually at the show to gain the most conversation was Samsung, as expected. They had an absolutely massive display, showcasing devices from numerous industries. Qualcomm, the keynote speakers, came in 6th.
So, overall, how did people like the show this year, despite its lower-than-average interest? Well, sentiment was overall quite positive, showing good feedback overall.CES 2013 Sentiment
We also measured Passion, showing consumer passion and intensity of excitement when discussing CES, and found CES scored well here as well.CES 2013 Passion Score
So it seems that while the show may have generated less volume this year, those interested still seemed to have a good reaction. On to 2014!
CNN and others have published news 16 hours ago saying they believe President Obama will nominate Senator John Kerry for Secretary of State. Prior to the September 11th attack on the US Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, it was believed Susan Rice, the US Ambassador to the UN, would be the nominee. However, those attacks had a strong negative impact on perception around Susan Rice, leading to the search for a new front- runner.Click to Enlarge
Here we see the impact the attack in Libya had on Rice. Sentiment around her spiked to nearly 70% negative in the weeks following the attack. While perception recovered slightly in the months following, its clear the impact was quite poor. She announced her withdrawal from consideration on December 13.
So, how does John Kerry fair?Click to Enlarge
Well, so far it’s not looking good. Analyzing dialog specific to Kerry’s potential nomination to the post, sentiment is mostly split, leaning negative at 52%. Looking a bit deeper, however, we see that 84% of the posts discussing this are non-sentimental, simply stating the rumored nomination with no commentary from the authors. Given this is an early rumor started on a weekend, that is not too surprising.
What if we analyze only those discussing expectations around Kerry as Secretary of State? Well, in this case, he fairs better. While these comments make up just 9% of the conversation, sentiment looks more to Kerry’s favor at 75% positive.
So what about Hillary? As a last piece of analysis, let’s use Social Radar’s huge historical archives to look at perception around Hillary Clinton as the US Secretary of State since her assuming that office on January 21, 2009.Click to Enlarge
Overall, perception around Clinton as Secretary of State has been largely positive, averaging 62% positive since her first day on the job. So it is safe to say whomever takes the position next, they have a bit of a tough act to follow on the favorability front.
In the United States, debates are raging over the coming “fiscal cliff”, an increase in taxes and cuts to spending that will trigger at the New Year if no alternative is put in place prior. Our two major parties are heavily split on how to resolve this issue, with Republicans tending to push for strong spending cuts with no change to tax rates, and Democrats pushing for increasing revenue (tax rate increases) with less focus on spending cuts. What do the people support?
First, let’s look at how much discussion there is around this subject. Volume picked up dramatically just after the US election, and has stayed a major subject of conversation since. We see the commentary tends to drop strongly on weekends, as is typical of stories driven by government or corporate news.(click image to enlarge)
Certainly this is a major topic of discussion. Interestingly, the conversation is being controlled largely by men, with a bias of 64% male to 36% female. We also see a larger focus from traditionally conservative states, outside of Washington D.C., which has a large lead in focus.(click image to enlarge)
As mentioned earlier, most want a resolution to this issue, and two major proposals are on the table: Spending Cuts and Tax Increases. Which is more popular with the people? We’ll first look at which is more often discussed within these conversations.(click image to enlarge)
Spending cuts are discussed just a bit more, but this is very close, as expected. Let’s take that deeper, looking at support between these two issues. Are the people more in support of cutting spending or raising taxes?(click image to enlarge)
While still close, we see a couple of interesting points here. Firstly, tax increases are more favorable by the general populous. We were a bit surprised by this, considering the demographics of the conversation. Beyond that, however, we also see that neither of these have broad support. The people don’t want to pay more taxes, but they also don’t want aggressive cuts to government programs. Still, something must be done, and from this analysis, tax increases seem to be more favorable.
One last thing: Social Radar has a powerful feature called Headlines, which is able to analyze dialog and extract key points of conversation around an issue, and reconstruct easy to understand sentences. We ran Headlines on this data, and found an interesting result. The top two headlines are:
The most common points of discussion are questions around these issues and what their impact may be. There is clearly some confusion and lack of understanding here. We had expected top points to be promoters of either side, rather than those seeking information. An interesting result indeed.
There is much potential here to dive much deeper into this conversation, analyzing dialog around specific cuts or revenue streams. If you’re a Social Radar user, we welcome you to go deep and see what you learn!
Today we launched our new weekly Top 50 Social Brands interactive report! A reboot of our popular prior piece, now with shiny interactive graphs, much more information and in-depth reports on each brand on the list. Check it out by clicking the link below!