Key Stories in Week 1


emoto paints a unique picture on the unfolding events at London 2012. This image shows the ebb and flow of the audience’s emotional response around some hot topics.

Old and new media have both been in the spotlight, with a series of controversies erupting during the first week, much of this about Twitter and NBC.

We are currently digging through the heaps of data we are collecting (over 5 million tweets already), to develop the stories for our physical exhibit. See a small excerpt in the chart above – we call these “sentigraphs”. Each row plots the development of one topic, with stroke color (and vertical position) highlighting positive and negative sentiment, while the stroke width indicates the number of tweets at a given point in time. So, the thick blobs you see are actually outbursts of tweet activity, and finer lines indicators of a more quiet signal.

Looking at the chart, we can see how NBC were flamed for their delayed coverage of the opening ceremony and ignorance on Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, and the negative response peaked when Daniel Tosh was retweeted. On emoto we sometimes see a negative score for, say, BBC when they cover a negative story. Here we see the opposite, with positive emotion for NBC in messages about TEAM USA winning gold, in a reverse of ‘don’t shoot the messenger’.

Tom Daley is an interesting topic. He was trending on emoto, but not just because of his performance in the diving, or the big fan base for him. The positive support was strong, but then was distorted by trolling, an abusive tweet from a 17 year old, who was later arrested. On emoto we saw people start to support him against the abuse, and the positive emotion peak following messages of support.

Michael Phelps and Bradley Wiggins unsurprisingly generated some of the most positive responses. We saw the drama unfold in the contest between Phelps and Lochte, and then tweets of support from Lochte and Obama as the records tumbled.

Relief was palpable in the UK when the gold medals finally arrived, and Bradley Wiggins was one of the heros, winning Gold two weeks after winning the Tour de France, with immediate calls for a Knighthood! (Only in GB…)

Perhaps the biggest controversy of all surrounded the badminton, after 8 badminton players were charged for match fixing and disqualified.

Tomorrow we will be watching Super Saturday on emoto.

One thought on “Key Stories in Week 1

  1. Pingback: #london2012 day 5: feeling positive » Danegeld

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