Month: January 2011

The Buzz- Tablet PC’s

January 27, 2011

The Buzz – Tablets!

 The tablet PC has taken the world by storm, filling in the gap between a traditional personal computer and a laptop PC. Designed as an audio-visual media platform, which enables easy, comfortable internet browsing, the tablet has been adjusted and reinvented by almost every giant in the world of electronics.  Apple was of course the first to launch their iPad, followed by, HTC, Motorola, HP and even BlackBerry, who created their own spin on the tablet.

Socialeyez was curious to see if there were any discussions around the tablets happening here in the Arab world. We decided to gauge the buzz on the tablet PCs by Apple (iPad), Samsung (Galaxy Tab), Motorola (Xoom) and BlackBerry (Playbook) in the last week here in the Middle East and North Africa region.

We hoped to see which is the most popular and what topics Arab users are discussing in relation to these hot new gadgets. The following is a report detailing the results of an extensive search on social media coverage regarding the Tablet PCs.

Many discussions were found online regarding the topic in both English and Arabic, although Arabic results were significantly higher  with over 65% of results being in Arabic. From this we can draw the conclusion that Arab users feel more comfortable discussing their electronic devices in the Arabic language on different social media platforms.

In total 1,069 results were captured over the seven day period January 17-24, 2011. A sample of 10% of the total data was used to give insight on the buzz.

We chose to graph the results for all the brands in one graph, in order to easily compare the results over the week. The iPad had the highest number of results by far (910), leaving the rest of the brands to fall very far behind. Motorola came in second, with 130 results over the span of the week, followed by Samsung, with 45 results and lastly, BlackBerry with only 19 results.

The vast majority of posts were found on ‘Micro-blogs’ such as Twitter (57%), followed by ‘Other Media Types’ (19%), which refers to comments posted below news articles, and ‘Message Boards/Forums’ (18%). So, although Twitter is a popular means of sharing information with others about electronic devices, many Arab users utilize popular electronics forums and leave comments below articles of interest in relation to tablet PCs.

According to our system, online conversations most frequently occurred in Egypt or by Egyptian users, with 52% of the share of coverage. The United Arab Emirates followed with 23% of conversations. This is a clear indication that Egyptian users have significant impact, in terms of social media in the Arab Region.

How did people feel?

Sentiment distribution in regards to each of the brands is illustrated in the graph below:

In general, if the question posed was: “How do you feel about the iPad/Xoom/Tab/Playbook?”, the Motorola had the highest amount of positive responses (51%).  Meanwhile the iPad had the highest amount of negative feedback (39%). It is important to note however, the iPad has been in the market the longest and has also accumulated the highest amount of results in general.

Nonetheless, we should also point out, according to our findings, users in the Arab region are very optimistic about the Motorola Xoom.

Most of the results captured were neutral in sentiment and simply shared news about any one of the devices.

What were people saying?

There was a wide variety of comments to be found. Many people had questions about the devices, some had problems that they wanted help with in regards to the products and some simply wanted to share information with others on social media platforms. The following is a variety of comments found by Socialeyez surrounding the tablets:

Many users chose to compare devices on social media platforms:

“RIM: PlayBook battery life will be ‘equal or greater than the iPad with smaller battery size’ http://t.co/9N0Nrs3 via @engadget”

“Damn guys! Can’t carry a blackberry, Iphone & Ipad all at the same time.. Maybe I’ll get the new ipad..???”

“Plying classical music on my ipad. This thing can do wonders. Can’t wait for the @blackberry playbook tho!!”

“Having handled an iPad it would be a bit too big and heavy for me as a commuter device. The kindle sized galaxy tab is much friendlier.”

Some discussed issues that they had with their devices:

“I am using Galaxy Tab and am facing some problem. I could successfully install and activate the software….. post which the software is not working.”

And, many used social media as a way of sharing information and links:

“Mobile Holy Quran for iPad لقراءة القرآن الكريم من الآيباد …: Mobile Holy Quran for iPad لقراءة القرآن الكريم … http://bit.ly/ebUWhj

“Motorola’s First Android Tablet to Retail for $800 [REPORT] – http://on.mash.to/f6VUvv

The Buzz – Tunisia

January 20, 2011

On December 17, 2010 a young street vendor in Tunisia, named Mohammed Bouazizi stood in front of a government building, doused himself in gasoline, and lit himself ablaze.

Bouazizi was a university graduate, who was unemployed due to the poor economic conditions in his country. In an attempt to support his family in any way possible, he began to sell fruits and vegetables in a cart on the side of the road in the city of Sidibouzid. However, when the police officials took away his cart, claiming that he did not have an appropriate permit, he decided to protest in this extreme way.

Bouazizi survived his self immolation for approximately 18 days, and eventually, he succumbed to the burns that covered over 90 percent of his body. On January 5th, 2011, he died and became a national hero to many in Tunisia.

After his passing, people began to protest the injustice in their country and a revolution of sorts arose. Eventually the ruler of the country, President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali left office, after over two decades of dictatorship. Many users claim that this was the result of the domino effect which began with the actions of Bouazizi.

Many people felt that social media had a big hand in sparking the revolution and keeping it alive. It is important to note that Bouazizi left a final status update dedicated to his mother on Facebook before his death. Twitter was also consumed with tweets regarding the topic, and below is the last status update that Bouazizi made, and posted on Facebook:

Translation: “I will be traveling my mom, forgive me. Reproach is not helpful. I am lost in my way it is not in my hands, forgive me if disobeyed words of my mom. Blame our times and do not blame me. I am going and not coming back, look I did not cry and tears did not fall from my eyes. Reproach is not helpful in time of treachery in the land of people. I am sick and not in my mind all what happened, I am traveling and I am asking who leads the travel to forget.”

SocialEyez decided to gauge the buzz around this issue.

The following is a report detailing the results of an extensive search on the social media coverage regarding the Tunisian revolution and the man that sparked it: Mohammed Bouazizi. SocialEyez ran a search within the date range of December 17, 2010, and January 17, 2011.

Methodology

In order to monitor the buzz regarding the topic, Socialeyez used unlimited number of keywords related to Bouazizi and searched all social media platforms for mentions of them.

However, in relation to the Tunisian revolution, we selected a sample of only 3 hashtags, in order to illustrate the buzz on Twitter alone. These were: #tunisia, #revolution and Tunisia, and #jasminrevolt. (note: the Jasmin revolt, is a name given to the Tunisian revolution because the national flower of Tunisia is the Jasmin)

Our Findings

Based on our research, a total of 5,316 comments/posts were found within the date range of December 17, 2010, and January 17, 2011 related to the name Mohammed Bouazizi. Below is the chart of the daily volume:

The highest buzz volume was captured on the day of his death (January 5th), and another peak on the date of the resignation of the President (January 14th). This goes to show that many people attributed the resignation of the President to Bouazizi, and related the two incidents. A significant drop in volume was noted on the day of his self immolation, it was not until his death and the beginning of the riots that people began to truly talk about Bouazizi on social media platforms.

After collecting the results, we categorized the comments as positive, negative or neutral, in relation to the question “Was Mohammed Bouazizi a hero/martyr?”

The majority of results (60%) were neutral, users shared the news of a man setting himself on fire, or links to news pages. However, 37% of the results were positive, and users felt that Bouazizi was indeed a national hero, and a martyr. Some sample comments with this sentiment are listed below:

“RT @AymanM: Rest In Peace Mohamed Bouazizi: the man who may have single handedly brought change to the Arab World. #tunisia #arabfreedom”

“RIP Mohamed Bouazizi, some might disagree but i think he is a martyr #sidibouzid #tunisia”

“@mishari26 This is Tunisia and we -the people- decide who our martyrs are, not your fatwas. M. Bouazizi acted heroically #sidibouzid”

“Mohamed Bouazizi is not only a marytr but a legend in the region. Historical figure that will always be remembered for a long time.”

“RT @monaeltahawy: Mohamed Bouazizi, 26, of #Sidibouzi, who sparked #Tunisia popular uprising, has died. RIP. His legacy lives on among thousands he inspired.”

On the other hand, a minority of users (3%) felt that what Bouazizi did was actually negative:

“ I’m sure if he had that much passion over something he could have accomplished so much more if he was alive years from now, working for a cause. That kind of protest only triggers more anger and violence, and there is no need for that or someone killing themselves or another person. I’ve had enough time to think about this shit having been in the military, and why I left. We can idolize a guy who burns himself to death but I feel that the adoration is misdirected and it’s only a result of a confused and unfocused rage.”

“I think this protest is just like any other. People want to speak up and change things. Governments don’t like change in countries such as this one. I envy people that speak their minds to the government and stand up for what they think is right for not only themselves, but for the rest of their country. As for the fact that people, like Mohamed Bouazizi, have tried killing themselves and succeed with the attempt, I do not think that is very smart. If you want change, you have to go through with your first decision. Especially with something so drastic. Although, there is a chance of being killed by the government, there is also that chance that, if you make the right moves, you can make a change in the country, or even the world.”

The following graph shows the daily volume on Twitter for the hashtags that we used. A total of 223,419 results were found within our date range.

There are definite points in time, over the one month period which we monitored, where the volume of results peaked. The first of these peaks occurs on January 10th, which is the date when riots began on Tunisian streets. The second peak occurs on the 14th of January when news of the resignation of Tunisia’s leader had become public. Below are some tweets found on peak days:

“Why must there always be riots before people can reach something? Which use have politicians actually?”

“Philosopher’s Tree: Tunisia: Demonstrations Reveal Corruption, Media Restrictions”

Below you can see a map overlay of the location in which results were found. Many results were captured from the Middle East region, but results were also captured from Europe, North and South America, and other parts of the world.

When we broke down the results into top countries of Origin, users from the United States generated the highest percentage of results, but this was due to the fact that Twitter and Facebook are both based in the United States, and unless an account states the origin of the user, then it would be attributed to the U.S.  France came in second place, possible because of the dominant French influence on Tunisian society, and the fact that French sites are often read and accessed by many people in Tunisia.

Amongst countries in the Arab region, Egypt, Jordan, KSA, the UAE and of course, Tunisia were all amongst the top 25 countries. Authorities in Egypt, KSA and UAE have also voiced concerns about the ripple effect this may cause in their own countries.

Of all the buzz reports we have compiled, this report had the highest volume of results, which goes to show that social media is indeed playing a key part in publicizing the revolution and keeping it alive.

Many people around the Arab world have imitated the actions of Bouazizi, and since his self immolation, men in Egypt, Algeria, and Mauritania have all proceeded to set themselves on fire in hopes of fostering change in their countries. For this reason, monitoring and understanding the trends which have developed over social media platforms has been important, and has contributed immense insight into the situation.

Raghad Tayeh & Yannick Dischinger
Social Media Analysts @ SocialEyez

The Buzz – #Gaza2

January 13, 2011

On December 27, 2008, Israel launched “Operation Cast Lead”, with a surprise air strike on the Gaza strip, formally beginning the Gaza War. Israel began the operation in response to Hamas’ “Operation Oil Stain” rocket fire, and an armed conflict with Hamas would commence for three weeks taking place in Gaza, and Southern Israel.

The war ultimately ended with both sides calling for cease fires after 1,300 Palestinian, and 13 Israeli lives were lost.

The high number of Palestinian deaths caused critics to accuse Israel of committing a massacre, while Israelis claimed that Hamas used civilians as human shields, making it difficult for them to avoid killing them.

On December 27, 2010, an online campaign was launched to commemorate the two year anniversary of the conflict by Gaza sympathizers and supporters. The aim of the campaign was to remind people of those who lost their lives, and to show support for their cause.  According to the campaigners, the basic principle was:

– On Twitter, post/repost all the tweets concerning Gaza with the #Gaza2 hashtag. It can be links, news, facts, personal statements.

– On Facebook, same principle. Post and repost the links you can find on Gaza. The aim, again, is to raise awareness.

[http://siegebreak.wordpress.com/2010/12/19/gaza2-campaign/]

SocialEyez decided to gauge the buzz around this topic and measure the success of the campaign. The following is a report detailing the results of an extensive search on the social media coverage regarding the Gaza 2 Campaign.

The volume distribution of the results over the time period within the date range

According to our results, a total of 14,590 comments/posts were found within the date range of December 27, 2010, and January 8, 2010. The majority of results (73%) were found on December 27th, which was the first day of the campaign. Results then declined day by day, and the lowest number of results was found on the January 8, which was the last day of our search.

The high volume of results indicates a definite success on behalf of those who started the campaign. People from all over the world participated, and dedicated their statuses and tweets to the Gaza 2 initiative.

Below you can see a map overlay of the location in which results were found. Many results were captured from the Middle East region, but results were also captured from Europe, the Americas, and other parts of the world. When we broke down the results into countries of Origin, the United States was on top, but this was due to the fact that Twitter is based in the United States, and unless an account states the origin of the user, then it would be attributed to the U.S.

The map overlay gives an idea of the wide array of places where comments and discussions were found

When it came to breaking down the results into social media platforms, Twitter dominated, with over 97% of the results being found on the micro blog. Social networks followed, and few results were captured on other mediums of social media, most likely since the campaign was aimed at Twitter users in specific.

The distribution of the total volume into the various social media types

Since the campaign was so successful on Twitter, we were able to find that the campaign had branched out into a group of supporters, found on:

http://www.twibes.com/group/Gaza2-Campaigners

There were a total of 99 members in the “twibe”, and the description stated that they were a “Twitter list of people using #Gaza2”.

Many of those who chose to participate on Twitter, tweeted the names of people who were killed in the war, as a way of remembering them.

Using our software, we were able to track the users who shared the highest number of comments and tweets. These were the key influencers of the campaign, and the driving force which kept the campaign alive. Many of these users simply re-tweeted a large number tweets that were written by others. This helped to continue spreading the word. Below is a list of the top 10 users, the number of tweets they each shared which carried the Gaza 2 hash tag, and a sample tweet for each user:

Although the campaign has died down drastically, some users are still keeping it alive, and posting tweets and comments. Below is a link for a real time feed of mentions of #Gaza2 on Twitter:

http://twitter.com/#!/search/%23Gaza2

Raghad Tayeh & Yannick Dischinger
Social Media Analysts @ SocialEyez