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Working paper 153: social media analysis, Twitter and the London Olympics 2012 [working paper]

Burnap, Peter ORCID:, Housley, William ORCID:, Morgan, Jeffrey, Sloan, Luke ORCID:, Williams, Matthew Leighton ORCID:, Avis, Nick, Edwards, Adam Michael ORCID:, Rana, Omer Farooq ORCID: and Williams, Malcolm David ORCID: 2012. Working paper 153: social media analysis, Twitter and the London Olympics 2012 [working paper]. [Working Paper]. Cardiff School of Social Sciences Working Paper Series, Cardiff: School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University. Available at:

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During the course of this paper we examine publically available social media data that relates to the London 2012 Olympic Games that has been harvested and analysed using the Cardiff Online Social Media ObServatory (COSMOS). Social media has matured sufficiently in terms of user uptake and incorporation into traditional media platforms and outlets that the recent London Olympics has been described as the first social media games. For example, the BBC used the Twitter stream to incorporate and mobilise audience participation into its Olympic coverage. With this in mind, this paper will explore the analysis of social media data in relation to sporting events and social media use. In doing so we identify the ways in which COSMOS can be used to identify hashtag popularity over a specific time period to identify real world events, in this case ‘Super Saturday’. The paper reports on indicative evidence that links real-world sporting events to spikes in real time populations’ reaction through self-reported social media updates. In turn, the paper provides an analysis of frequency and sentiment of tweets containing the most popular UK hashtag connected to the London 2012 Olympics over a specified time period. This has consequences for conceptualising the relationship between social actors, events and social media and methodological strategies for understanding the dynamic (locomotive) reactions of populations.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Computer Science & Informatics
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Publisher: School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University
ISBN: 9781908469083
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2023 15:16

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