Twitter gets down with “Up with Chris Hayes”!

[Note: Since this post was published, I’ve done a more recent analysis of Up with Chris Hayes’s Twitter engagement.  You can see it here]

Last week, I looked at twitter engagement for the  Melissa Harris-Perry Show on MSNBC.  This week, I have a request to do the same for Up with Chris Hayes.

Let’s start with the Twitter action:

Tweets per hour for Up With Chris Hayes

Click on image to enlarge

This is pretty much in keeping with what we saw with the MHP show — twitter activity really bursts during the show and falls off later on.  Chris’ # of tweets is lower than Melissa’s from a week ago, but comparing two different weeks isn’t totally fair.  If you compare the two shows, though, you’ll see that Melissa’s tweeple tended to retweet a lot more than the #uppers did. That alone accounts for pretty much all the difference in tweet volume.  Chris — toss out a few bon mots on twitter to get them going!

Still, there’s a lot of people (like, ahem, myself) who tend to sleep in a bit later than 8am on weekends… so maybe that’s the problem.  Some of us are more snoozers than uppers!

So who was Tweeting with Chris? Figuring out gender on Twitter is a bit rough (after all, on the Internet nobody knows you’re a dog), but here’s the estimated breakdown of the #uppers:

Gender breakdown of Chris Hayes' Tweeple

Click on image to enlarge

For some reason, it makes me want a Pepsi. I must not use Excel’s default colors. Anyways, continuing on …

Past studies (well, from 2009 so that’s kind of dated) have indicated that Twitter users are 55% female, 45% male (and 0% dog 😉 ) so it appears that Chris is pulling strongly male.  I’d be curious to know what the ratings say about the show watchers.  MHP’s tweeple from a week ago were about 59% female, so that’s almost a complete reversal but more in keeping with the estimated Twitter population.

There wasn’t a lot of consistent hashtag usage (except for #uppers):

Click to see larger version

Given that there were approximately 6000 tweets on Saturday and Sunday, nothing managed to make it past 5% of the tweets.  The few #nerdland ones are interesting, but I’d have to look at a minute by minute breakdown to see if its a segue thing.

So, what were the most popular (re-)tweets?  Well, popular is probably not the right word here.  There were a very few tweets that showed up repeatedly:

total text
36 RT @Uncucumbered: Note to Tim Carney: Why do you never ask “If the government can mandate a vaginal probe, what can’t they do?” #uppers #nerdland #waronwomen
33 RT @lizzwinstead: If reading bills in annoying to you, maybe being in congress isn’t your thing. #Uppers
31 RT @MHarrisPerry: Today’s @upwithchris is taking on Health Care for the entire show. Tune in. This is important TV. #uppers
28 RT @chrislhayes: Why the commerce clause is beautiful:
22 RT @YouGottaVote: Akhil Amar is my hero; argues on fact, precedent and the Constitution…how refreshing!!   #uppers #ACA
21 RT @Lawrence: @chrislhayes Just watched your religion show of last week. Simply brilliant. Rewound to hear a few bits twice. #bestofmsnbc
20 RT @chrislhayes: On the point about whether the costs of Obamacare have doubled:
16 RT @mmfa: RT @ZieberKR: @chrislhayes on the “character assassination” of #Trayvon Martin “racial backlash is now at full tilt”
15 RT @upwithchris: Charts & graphs from this morning’s show on the Affordable Care Act: #Uppers #aca #hcr
11 RT @blythe75: The greatest trick Conservatives ever did was making Americans forget the state-rights side lost the Civil War. #uppers

36 tweets is barely over a half of a percent…  So was there a consistent theme to the tweets? Even there, not really — a very diverse conversation in terms of retweets and use of words.  Here are the most popular words used in the tweets:

Word Total Usages
show 421
just 379
care 314
carney 286
health 270
like 264
good 260
morning 257
now 238
right 230
people 229
tim 204
will 202
know 201
congress 193
great 185
time 172
go 171
us 170
need 168

A few people contributed a hefty number of tweets:

# of Tweets User
118 kwright39
107 EverleighWay
75 jdvanlaningham
68 Noe_Colon
66 sjdorst
62 therealpriceman
57 dapdaddy
56 RonniRN
56 betsyrsmith
51 newblackrepubli

Chris Hayes himself was tied for 118th place with 11 tweets.  Get tweeting, Chris!

What did I learn from all this? Both Melissa Harris-Perry and Chris Hayes have a vibrant group of Twitter followers who chat during the shows, but don’t really continue to chat much outside of the shows.  Whether MSNBC wants to have that dialog continue is unknown to me, but if they do, I have a few suggestions…

  1. Chris is using mostly the web for his tweets.  This means that the moment he enters a tweet they go live. A tool like Hootsuite would allow Chris to enter a batch of tweets and spool them out during the day — this allows for a continual presence on Twitter even while asleep or otherwise occupied.
  2. Conduct twitter surveys or other things that allow you to interact with the audience but deal with them in an aggregate way.
  3. Delegate, if that’s not already being done.  Again, Hootsuite is great for that kind of thing.
  4. Watch your usage and engagement.  Every tweet is like an advert, you need to watch the reaction to it to see what works and doesn’t.
Regardless, good show, and keep it up! 🙂


I searched for all tweets from Saturday 00:00 to Sunday 23:59 EDT with one (or more) of #uppers, @chrislhayes, or @upwithchris in the text.  The gender of the sender was estimated via standard analytical techniques. Every tweet is labeled with the software that sent it, and so it allows me to analyze usage of various software clients (such as I did for what software the senators are using).