I’ve been following news and opinion pieces concerning the economics of austerity. It so happened that yesterday was May Day and some large demonstrations concerning austerity took place.
Today I logged into Hootsuite and on the Nexalogy Search app, I searched for #austerity.
I was a bit surprised by today’s result.
#greece, #europe — no surprise there. #mayday was not surprising either.
But I didn’t expect to see #hiv. It’s number 6 in the top ten hashtags.
Drilling down into the tweets, we can see people responding to and retweeting the Al-Jazeera article The true cost of austerity. In fact , out of the 5 top links displayed in the Nexalogy Search App, 4 of them were different links pointing to this article.
Here’s a quote :
The joint British and US-led research says more than 10,000 suicides have been recorded during what they call ‘The Great Recession’.
And as many as a million cases of depression have been diagnosed – that is a rise of 10 percent. It says five million Americans have lost access to healthcare while 10,000 families in Britain have lost their homes.
HIV rates in Greece have risen by more than 200 percent since 2011, because of cuts in funding. And the research suggests rising unemployment is pushing more young people to take drugs.
Not surprisingly, a Google News search on the Internet for ‘austerity’ brings up this same article, as well as others related to #mayday protests in Europe, particularly in Athens, Brussels and London.
With the Nexalogy Search, I was able to see not only what people were reading about yesterday and this morning, but I also gained insight into what’s in these articles, and what’s moving people to tweet about it.
I find a rise in HIV of 200% alarming, and so do a lot of other people.
let’s see what happens if we search now for #hiv
Interestingly when I search for “hiv” in google news i see no connection to austerity. However, in the twittersphere conversations, there is a connection.
Looking in more detail in the interest map for the ‘#hiv’ search, we can see a separate but important conversation happening, highlighted in orange below:
Sure enough, this is a “re-tweet” cluster. We can often see in interest maps a separate cluster that binds together certain words but seems somewhat apart from the main themes. Often a cluster is caused by a large number of re-tweets of a single tweet.
In this case they are re-tweets of the same article by Al-Jazeera that we described from #austerity search.
What’s nice about Nexalogy Search is the organic connections that link topics together. In some cases, such as the Google News search for ‘hiv’, we see that an analysis of the Twittershere is finding connections between topics and articles that a straight-up news search didn’t find.
This is because searching for news on Twitter is less about finding top news than finding the news that people are talking about, and it’s the people talking (tweeting) , thinking, processing, and reacting to the news that I find interesting.
It’s in this processing of the news by readers and tweeters that the connections surface.