Obama, Iran, and Ted Cruz top topics in Cable News Twitter on Sunday, 3/22/15

Cable News Trending Topics for 2015-03-22

Obama, Iran, and Ted Cruz were the trending topics in Cable News Twitter on Sunday. I expect we’ll hear a lot more about Cruz on Monday …

Raw data: 2015-03-22-TagStats.csv and 2015-03-22-WordStats.csv

Top Shows for the day:

Category Mentions Show
Most Mentions During Hour 2443 MSNBC: Melissa Harris-Perry Show
Most Mentions During Day 5173 CNN: CNN International

Overall ratings by network

Network Tweet Count Unique Tweeters Reach Male Female
Fox News 52214 19463 410923545 63 % 37 %
CNN 36676 23623 410314360 57 % 43 %
MSNBC 20556 9436 102038398 53 % 47 %
HBO 4754 2921 10986202 54 % 46 %
Al Jazeera 1075 781 5475634 51 % 49 %
Comedy Central 993 848 2690065 61 % 39 %
HLN 557 415 5184518 57 % 43 %

Most popular hashtags and words

Word or Hashtag Count
#wakeupamerica 17276
#tcot 10470
obama 6172
#pjnet 5244
says 4229
#lnyhbt 3868
#iran 3860
us 3832
cruz 3684
ted 3418

Tag Cloud across all shows

#14a #1a #2a #47traitors #aa #benghazi #blacklivesmatter #bluelivesmatter #c2gthr #cashinin #ccot #chicago #cia #cnn #cosproject #crushisis #cruz2016 #disclosure #faa #ferguson #findingjesus #fnpolitics #fns #foxnews #ftn #gop #hillaryemail #hims #icc4israel #iran #irandeal #iranian #iranians #iranletter #irannucleartalks #irannukedeal #irantalks #isis #islam #israel #istandwithisrael #lastweektonight #lnyhbt #maddow #mahkumyakinlariaclikgrevinde #makedclisten #marchmadness #maryamrajavi #missionimpossible #morningjoe #msnbc #mtp #myherojohnoliver #nerdland #netanyahu #newday #nonucleariran #nra #obama #obamacare #obamadestroyingamerica #obamahatesisrael #obamarepealtheexecutiveorder #p2 #pilots #pjnet #prettywoman #quityulin2015 #racetogether #racism #raisingryland #redeye #rednationrising #rt #sentedcruz2016 #shutdownthefuckbarrel #sisterpatriots #sot #starbucks #stopislam #tcot #tdsbreakingnews #teaparty #tedcruz #tedcruz2016 #tgdn #thewonderlist #tiot #tlot #uk #uniteblue #uniteright #uppers #us #uva #veterans #wakeupa #wakeupame #wakeupamerica #ycot


Word Cloud across all shows

2016 america american announce answer back bid black breaking charged co constitution country cruz deal death dies end et founding go going good great hearings help hold htt iran isis israel jesus just know kuan last lee life like love make man may mccain media minister monday mt much murder need never new news now nuclear obama obama’s one people planning please police president presidential prime race really report retweet right rights run say says schoolmate’s see sen show state stop take ted teens tell thank think thugs time today truth us want watch way white will world years yew


MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry Show wins Cable News Twitter on Sunday, 3/22/15

Sunday saw MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry Show win the best hour with higher than normal mentions, while CNN International brought in the most mentions throughout the day.

Note that, starting with Monday’s ratings, the number of networks and shows will be reduced to the core of cable news.

Raw data: 2015-03-22-ShowStats.csv

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Some upcoming changes in daily stats …

Recently, I achieved what seemed to me to be a major milestone in my stats: I had 24/7 coverage of the major cable news networks’ shows. Every hour, even the crappy rerun of Tech Now in the middle of the night on Al Jazeera, was monitored, counted, and reported.

To do that, I have accumulated a huge database of shows and schedules.  There are 142  “active” shows in my database that I track, individually, and over 700 entries that map these shows to specific air times.  Last month (2/15), I processed over 4 million individual tweets, assigning each to one or more shows (you’d be surprised how many people will throw in hashtags for several shows in a single tweet).

I’m incredibly pleased with how comprehensive the statistics have become.  To achieve this, I’ve built some powerful tools.  I have a server that runs 24/7 with custom Java software to collect all the tweets in near real time and save them into a MySQL database.   The tweets are tagged by language, mood, and if discernable, the gender of the sender. Once a day I run another custom Java application that processes, analyzes, and generates the bulk of the daily reports I post.  I add in some commentary, build some charts when warranted, and a blog post is done.

If I could automate this 100%, I would probably run it indefinitely, but there’s still a huge, time consuming manual step in all this: cable news channels are constantly changing their schedules.  About 5-10% of the schedule changes every week.  CNN swaps around its documentaries.  Fox News has special reports, and Hannity tends to get shoved around the margins of the schedule.  Al Jazeera has so many half-hour shows that it’s more work keeping up with their schedule than all the rest of the cable news networks combined! Talent comes and goes from shows.

Every week I have to invest hours in reviewing the upcoming schedule, reflecting changes in my database, and keeping on top of new shows or changes in shows. That investment, I have concluded, is no longer worth making. There’s several reasons for that.

First, there’s no profit in this: I’ve tried putting advertising on the site, but it generates insignificant revenue.  I have contemplated some sort of subscription model, or tip bucket, but concluded nothing will produce enough cash-flow.  That tells me there’s little value in the work I do here. Or I’m inept in monetizing it, I suppose.

Second, the world of Social Media has fragmented.  Twitter is at a cross-roads.  Its growth has stalled while a myriad of competitors have drawn away users.  Reporting just on Twitter gives a fragmentary and, I suspect, inaccurate picture of the world. As an example, in the 2010 election cycle, Twitter activity correlated well to election results.  By 2014, that correlation had started to fall apart. Whether it’s because people are gaming Twitter, or trolling, or just the waning influence of the platform I do not now.

Third, by going “wide” — trying to be comprehensive — it keeps me from going deep into topics.  I would rather produce a couple of insightful and actionable blog posts a week than keep after schedule changes so I can produce daily reports.

Finally, I have other projects I want to work on that are more deserving of my limited time. I have some iOS apps that need to be refreshed, and others that I need to finish.  I have some data science projects that have been stalled.

So, I will be gradually phasing out the daily stats.  After Sunday’s numbers, I am immediately dropping HLN, Al Jazeera, Comedy Central, and HBO from the calculations. They’re interesting, but are a side show.  Then, I’ll reduce the amount of shows I track to just the very top tier of shows that get actual sustained engagement from viewers.  At some point, I may feel like the effort involved is trivial and stabilize there, but that point could well be no daily reports.

We’ll see.

If there’s something that’s actually important to you for, drop me a line at admin@socialseer.com — I’ll see what I can do.


Cashin’ In wins Saturday, and the Power of Retweets (3/21/15)

Another strong Saturday for Fox News’ Cashin’ In.  The show had more mentions than the next 10 shows combined:

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There’s always an interest in how a show can generate this kind of high engagement. Let’s compare the numbers1 for top two shows, Cashin’ In and The Melissa Harris-Perry Show:

Cashin’ In Melissa Harris-Perry
Mentions in Day 33454 3287
One-off Tweets 7497 1994
Retweets 25957 1293
% Tweets as RTs 73% 39%

If tweets about MHP had gotten retweeted at the rate as those about Cashin’ In, the total for the day for MHP would have been closer to 9000.  Not nearly enough to close the gap, but it would have been a more balanced chart.

I offer no opinion about whether original tweets are “better” or more “organic” (to use that phrase in the business sense, not in the food sense). Both tweets and retweets demonstrate engagement of the viewer, although perhaps not as much effort. The level of retweets merely points out that Cashin’ In’s viewers are more inclined to tweet AND retweet, while MHP Show viewers are inclined to just tweet.  As an observation, if I were the social media folks working at MSNBC, I might start thinking about how to encourage my viewers to not just tweet more, but to retweet more as well.

Raw data for the day: 2015-03-21-ShowStats.csv

1: The reason the numbers are not completely precise is that tweets can get a bit mangled during the retweet process, so sometimes what appears to the computer to be two different tweets are, in fact, the same retweet.

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