Finding Signals in the Noise of Dreamforce 2015

Not among the 170,000 who made it to Dreamforce this year? We weren’t either, but we wanted to be kept in the loop of one of the biggest tech events of the year. We used our own analytics tool NexaMaster to monitor what people were talking about on Twitter, and thought we would share the highlights:

For those new to Dreamforce, it’s an annual event where “thought leaders, industry pioneers, and thousands of your peers [come together] for four high-energy days of fun, inspiration, networking, and giving back”.

Starting by looking at the interaction map, we can see that Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff was the biggest broadcaster (in red), after Dreamforce and Salesforce. Dreamforce 2015 Nexalogy Interaction Map BenioffThe orange nodes indicate the other folks who were mentioned with @Benioff in the same tweets. But what could Benioff possibly have to do with Foo Fighters, The Killers, Uber and warriors?

A1) Foo Fighters, The Killers, and Gary Clark Jr. played at Dreamfest and the UCSF Benefit last night. Partay.



To boot, the video of Benioff’s keynote on Day 2 was the fourth most shared link, garnering 10 million people who watched it live online!

The 3 links shared more than that video and the top 3 overall retweets are from… Japanese rock superstar Yoshiki. He took the stage with his crystal Kawai classical piano right before Microsoft SEO Satya Nadella’s keynote. Yoshiki’s rendition of Star Spangled Banner received a standing ovation, and was a hit on Twitter as well.

It is interesting to note that the articles floating around about Dreamforce online do not mention Yoshiki, despite his dominance on social media.

The 4th most shared tweet is Salesforce Chief Digital Evangelist Vala Afshar’s tweet of a vine with 158 shares.

It isn’t directly about #DF15, but a recycled tweet that he had first tweeted on September 8.

Is this a successful example of riding on the wave of a trending hashtag? Or a much appreciated lighter, refreshing tweet in the #DF15 timeline that is flooded with content?


Dreamforce 2015 Nexalogy TimelineWe tracked #DF15 for the duration of the conference, and noticed its peak conversation on Twitter was at 9pm PST on September 15th, day 1 of the conference. There was nothing scheduled on the official agenda during that time. Did attendees catch up on their Twitter feeds at the end of the day, thus explaining the peak? A deeper dive into the data shows signs of an after party:

Overall, the most talked about innovation on social media was Sage’s new product, Sage Live, with #SageLive being the highest trending hashtag behind only #DF15 and #Dreamforce. CEO Stephen Kelly wrote on LinkedIn that he found this fact humbling and incredible.

Dreamforce 2015 Nexalogy Top Hashtags

Where is Jessica Alba?

This starlet came in ranked at #42, with 18 mentions. She has won over Hollywood as well as mothers but she has yet to make a splash at Dreamforce it seems.

Dreamforce 2015 Nexalogy Interaction Map Jessica Alba

Want to take a deep dive into your data? Book a demo with us to celebrate good data, come on!

Till next year, Dreamers.


*Analysis was done based on #DF15 discussions on Twitter published between 12pm EST on September 15  and 1.30pm EST on September 18.

Black Lives Matter: Ferguson and Beyond

The shooting of a young African-American man, Michael Brown, happened just over a year ago on August 11, 2014 and Ferguson residents commemorated the one-year anniversary last week with vigils, rallies, and protests. American cities such as New York, Baltimore, Arlington continue to be besieged by racially-motivated violence which have been followed by protests this year demanding justice for Black communities. Those who are active on social media may recognize the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag that was started by activists following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in 2013 for the killing of Trayvon Martin. The hashtag gained momentum in Autumn 2014, peaking end of November when the police officer who shot Brown was not indicted.

Nexalogy #BlackLivesMatter Lexical Map

The hashtag remains as a call to action due to the many questionable shootings of African-Americans by the police:  Freddie Gray from Baltimore was thought to have died in the hands of the police in April 2015 and Christian Taylor was killed by a rookie police officer on August 7.

Izmail Glosson Aug 9 #BlackLivesMatter Twitter Status

Michelle Watts, Ph.D. Aug 9 #BlackLivesMatter Twitter Status

The #BlackLivesMatter hashtag originally began as a call for police reform, and has since evolved to encompass the many forms of oppression that shape and constrain Black communities in America, and beyond. As the Black Lives Matter website states, “This is not a moment, but a movement”. As we will see, the conversation on social media continues.

#BlackLivesMatter during one year commemoration

We take a look at the issues which coalesced around the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag during the one year anniversary of Michael Brown last week. Our analysis will provide us a clearer idea of the major social trends that currently intersect with this movement.

A vigil and rallies were organized by activist groups on August 9 in Ferguson to remember Michael Brown, but the event turned violent on Sunday with the shooting and hospitalization of Tyrone Harris Jr, an 18 year who was believed to be armed. Twenty-two people were arrested and Ferguson was under emergency until Friday.

On August 10 and 11, the conversation under the #BlackLivesMatters hashtag (42,600 posts)  mentioned #Ferguson (5,516 posts), obviously, but also encompassed national events taking place outside Ferguson, likely in commemoration of the one anniversary.

10 hashtags after BlackLivesMatter and Ferguson

Hashtags related to Bernie Sanders dominate the conversation as his rally was disrupted by two Black Lives Matters activists who took his microphone and demanded that Sanders do more for racial equality. Hillary Clinton incited controversy this summer with her statement that “all lives matter” which some saw as undermining the struggles faced by Black communities. This debate continues on Twitter, with interpretations such as the one below going viral:

His Life Matters

Conversations around Mike Brown and Tyrone Harris

According to the hashtag rankings, the shooting and hospitalization of Tyrone Harris Jr. (523x) was not as prominent as one might expect considering that it took place in Ferguson. Mike Brown continued to be invoked more frequently (688x), likely because he was unarmed when facing the police, and died.

The pie charts below show that social media posts around Tyrone Harris describe the shooting event and refer to his previous arrests and bail.  In contrast, the shooting of Mike Brown is associated with words such as “powerful”, and “truth” resonates more with the injustices felt by African-Americans. The unfortunate circumstances of Mike Brown’s death showcased the need for the #BlackLivesMatter movement and he will likely continue to be invoked as long as this movement is alive.

Tyrone Harris:

Tyrone H Black Lives Matter

Michael Brown:

Mike B without caption Black Lives Matter

 (yrs = “years”)

The anniversary of Michael Brown follows a tumultuous year of police shootings and coincides with the beginning of the American presidential campaign. The Black Lives Matter movement now traverses local (for example, Ferguson) and national spaces, and certainly digital social media platforms too where “on the ground” reporting has been provided by a variety of participants.


Nexalogy analyzes the National Leaders Debate taking place tonight

Maclean’s will be hosting the National Leaders Debate featuring the leaders of Canada’s major party leaders tonight at 8PM ET.

This event is notable as it is the only English-language debate featuring the leaders of the Conservative, New Democratic, Liberal and Green parties. The Conservatives have stated Stephen Harper will not take part in the network consortium debates in October, and Thomas Mulclair (NDP) has responded that he will not participate in any debate without Harper. Although Canada’s major parties will be taking part in the Globe and Mail and Munk debates, the Green Party has not been invited to participate. The date of tonight’s debate was decided in June, before the start date of the election campaign was known, so the timing is quite serendipitous.

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All the questions for tonight’s debate will come from Maclean’s, and will not be shared with any the parties before the debate. Maclean’s has been inviting the audience to post questions they have for the party leaders on social media here.


Electoral contexts and new media

Nexalogy analyzes #macdebate

What has been the role of media in elections? How might televised debates influence campaign outcomes? In an interview with Maclean’s, Brian Mulroney credited his victory as Prime Minister to his performance in debates and thinks it continues to have an important influence, saying that Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley “made it to the premier’s position because of television debates. So I think that the      television debates in the next election may turn out to be the most important since 1984.”   (See Nexalogy’s analysis of the Alberta election here.)

Citizens and political parties are very active on digital  “new media” arenas such as blogs, online journalism, and social media, and this can shape the content of more established platforms, such as televised debates.

Nexalogy has began to analyze the concerns being voiced by the public on social media for tonight’s National Leader Debate (#macdebate) and have captured  “climate” as a prevailing theme.

Nexalogy's lexical map of #macdebate


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Distribution of hashtags which co­-occur with #macdebate between different topics suggests that climate is far and away the most important topic:

#climatechange  184

#vote4climate     161

#actonclimate      26

#environment        4

#vote4clim              3


Gilles Duceppe (Bloc Québécois) is not participating in the debate tonight, and this may explain why Nexalogy has found that French ­language tweets associated with #macdebate number in the dozens rather than the hundreds, as opposed to English discussion which is already over 2000 tweets.


     English: 2873

French: 26


Analyzing the exchange between social media and televised debates

It will be interesting to see if debate moderator Paul Wells takes his cue from Facebook comments and steers the conversation more on climate, and green energy, or if he chooses to focus on different themes entirely. Social media data seems to suggest that this election will run primarily on environment and climate issues.

Nexalogy will be monitoring trends in the social media conversation for BuzzFeed. Specifically, we are keeping an eye on the relative importance of issues changes before, during, and after the debate, and how conversation around each leader and party progresses as a result of the debate.

Tonight’s debate will be broadcasted on City, OMNI 1 and OMNI 2, and CPAC and will be live streamed online on Rogers radio and television station websites,, Facebook and YouTube. The debate will be translated into Italian, Mandarin, Cantonese and Punjabi on OMNI and will air in English and French on CPAC.

We will post a link to the article tomorrow, stay tuned!

Want to analyze your own hashtag? Install the NexaSearch app on Hootsuite to do so for free.

[Update] Link to BuzzFeed article.