Yesterday’s Diamond Jubilee River Pageant was a magnificent occasion. As is usual now, the world of twitter was alive with TV viewers discussing, ranting, or just observing the proceedings as they watched. The use of twitter and other social media channels while watching TV is rising in popularity, and it is generating vast amounts of data for researchers. Viewer opinions, thoughts and instant feedback are available to be searched and mined for new perspectives on how we consume our TV entertainment and how we interact with friends and others while we are watching.
The #bbcjubilee hashtag was a focal point for viewers of the BBC coverage of the Pageant, and I collected over 46,000 tweets during the broadcast. This is a reasonable amount, but doesn’t come near the volumes of tweets produced during XFactor broadcasts for instance – probably reflecting the different viewing demographic and the type of programme.
The wordle above shows the relative occurrences of the 150 most popular words in the #bbcjubilee tweets. As you would expect, the Queen and members of the Royal Family feature prominently, but then as we have seen in other TV related streams, the BBC presenters and other celebrities feature also. The phenomenon of celebrities tweeting about the broadcast and being retweeted in large volumes is a common observation and is seen here with comedian, Frankie Boyle and Radio 1’s Matt Edmondson featuring.
The network of viewers discussing the proceedings shows a typical profile for TV audience Twitter networks. Large numbers of users linked to one or two others through ‘mentions’, while a small number of celebrities and popular tweeters are mentioned by large numbers of other users as their tweets are retweeted through the network, seen here by the large clusters in the centre of the network.
This gives us more good data to try to understand the social nature of these networks of, in most cases, non co-located TV viewers, and what it can tell us about TV audiences in general. I’m looking forward to discussing this with others at the upcoming EuroITV 2012 conference in Berlin!