There are 2 really recommendable tools for social network analysis out there: NodeXL and Gephi. Both are very powerful in conducting social network analysis and bring some handy features along. What I really like about NodeXL is the crawling feature with whom you can easily get some dynamic data out of Twitter. On the other hand there is Gephi with a cool yet not so user-friendly timeline feature.
Impressed what André Panisson did here to visualize the Egyptian revolution on Twitter, I tried my own.
At the moment we have an ongoing ehec-bacteria epidemic in Germany. Quickly the hashtag #ehec arose an new information spread quickly via Twitter. For 3 days (June 11th-13th 2011) I collected all the Tweets containing “#ehec” as well as retweets or mentions of other users with the help of NodeXL, then imported the data into Gephi to create this video:
Bigger nodes mean bigger centrality. The users twitgrap and menno020 stick out since a tweet mentioning both was retweetet by sourrounding users. As you can see, over the days some clusters are formed, some users gain more attention than others, information is spread. Yet most are retweeted/mentioned only 1 or 2 times.
In the context of #ehec, the following hashtags were used most:
- #ecoli (14)
- #EHEC-Tote (13)
- #Bakterien #Darminfektion (8)
- #Ecoli (8)
- #Focus #StN #BILD (8)
- #Pfingsten (8)
- #EHEC-Erregers #Monsanto (6)
- #DPA #Ahja (6)
- #Google #rassistisch (6)
- #STEC (6)
So this short list gives a quick overview in which context #ehec was discussed most: besides the bacteria itself, also the mass media more precisely the national press (Focus, STN, Bild) as well as Monsanto are mentioned. The latter in a rather conspiracy theoretical context. In the next days and weeks i’ll get deeper into Gephi which seems to be really really interessting, surrounded by a very active community. I’m looking forward to the upcoming versions!