Pointless babble on Twitter: The Social Data goldmine

We tend to think of Twitter as trivia and pointless random outbursts.  The people we follow flood our Twitter stream with useless phrases filled with their seemingly pointless activities.  But these random Tweets can have great value to data analysts.  For example, in 2008, bacon was more popular than sausages, Well people were tweeting about bacon much more.  We also tweet about feeling better in the morning than we do for the rest of the day.   Don’t worry if you’re an evening person, our moods seem to rally before we go to bed too.  We’re happier when it’s sunny, and when it’s the weekend.  Obviously..

These flippant top line results are the results of massive amounts of data gathering.  Cornelll University looked at over 500 million Tweets during research carried out over 2 years. (You can read the full report and supporting information here)

But what if you’re just curious and would like to take a pulse of what’s going on and you’re not interested in sleep or moods?

Have a look at Time Use which lets you play about with topics and find out how popular they are at different times of the day.  You might have wondered what people do all day, and now here’s your chance to find out what they tweet about.  Now I know that many more kebabs are eaten in the early hours of Saturday and Sunday morning than during the rest of the week.  This, just happens to correlate exactly with my experience of eating kebabs when I was at college


And now I also know that chips are far more popular than either curry or kebabs – especially on Fridays and Saturdays.


So, next time you’re wondering why your colleague is Tweeting about the trivia of their daily lives, they might be adding to some vital bit of data analysis – which could affect kebab production rates across the Twitterverse at weekends.

So keep tweeting that trivia.  Someone thinks its of value… Open-mouthed smile

PS – Huge shout out to Allister, The Digital Marketer who reminded me of Time Use…

Eileen is a social business strategist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.


4 thoughts on “Pointless babble on Twitter: The Social Data goldmine

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