Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Many Languages of Mourning Steve Jobs


"In the hours after Steve Jobs’ passing, researchers at the New England Complex Systems Institute tried to track the spread of memorial tweets spreading through the internet. Their computers were overwhelmed.

Rather than focusing on network dynamics, they decided to analyze the tributes by language. Jobs wasn’t just an American visionary, but truly global.

Above is a breakdown of two million tweets containing the name “Steve Jobs” and posted between 9 pm on Oct. 5 and 9 am the next morning. Each dot represents 1,000 tweets, and they’re colored according to language. A high-resolution version containing the most-retweeted messages can be downloaded here."


Andrew said...

Seems weird that there are so many more tweets in Dutch than in German. Do Germans have something against Apple (or Twitter, for that matter)?

Laura Payne said...

Andrew - Good question. Can anyone help answer this?

alanheadbloom said...

Seems strange that there is no tweet count from three top-10 world languages: Arabic, Urdu, or Chinese. Is that because "Steve Jobs" can't be searched in non-Roman alphabets? If so, how did Japanese and Thai make this tweet count? Puzzling.

Anette said...

I can only guess. But I reckon that Germans have a strong tendency to phrase their tweets in English. Posts on facebook from Germans that I saw were all in English.

However, I'm also struck by the quite high percentage of Esperanto. Didn't expect it to be that widespread.

Laura Payne said...

alanheadbloom -

If you view the original article, to which I have linked, there is a bit more detail including, "Though the methodology’s a little rough — tweets didn’t mention Steve Jobs by name aren’t included, nor are languages with non-Western alphabets — but it’s enough."

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...