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Late last week, I took to Twitter to rant about Twitter and my inability to access all the tweets from the #ISTE12 hashtag due to limitations on the Twitter Search API – yes, I realize the irony, compounded by my decision to “storify” a conversation about not owning my own data.

Thankfully, I’m not the only interested or attentiveperson.  Others have been able to capture the tweets, call the API, pull together the data, and encourage me to do useful things with it. (Thank you, Ed Borasky, Scott Traylor, Kin Lane, and Rey Junco.)

What can we learn:

According to what we can glean from the #ISTE12 hashtag, there were approximately 69887 tweets from Saturday through Wednesday from 9235 unique Twitter accounts. (27,623 of those tweets were retweets – about 40%.)

Those 9000+ Twitter users weren’t all ISTE attendees, of course. Although you can attach a location to your tweets, most people don’t; and so I cannot be certain how many were tweeting from the San Diego Convention Center.

That means I’m not able to answer the question of what percentage of ISTE12 attendees were tweeting (it doesn’t help either that I don’t have the official attendance numbers from ISTE yet).

I am digging through the data nonetheless (something which is requiring lots of brand new skills and software for me: Google Fusion Tables, Gephi, Protovis, statistics, visualization and more.)

Your standard word cloud:

(Created with Wordle and the text of these 69K tweets.)

Word cloud from the Opening Keynote:

(via @360Kid)

Most frequent Twitter-ers:

(Created with Wordle using the full list of Twitter users who tweeted the #ISTE12 hashtag. Includes retweets)

Some questions I’m still working on:

What were the average number of tweets per person?
Can I visualize Twitter activity over time? 
Can I visualize the connections between Twitter users?

(I know the answer to all of these is "yes" -- I just need to figure out how to do it.)

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Audrey Watters


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