Game of Thrones in Data: The Character Connections Drawn by Tweeters
By Gemma JoyceMay 17
Remember when we used to express our love with letters and roses and teddy bears and little heart-shaped chocolates?
We don’t do that any more.
The only way love can be truly expressed in 2019 is online and in the form of emoji.
I woke up today with a start. An idea, clear as day, flashed before my eyes. If love can only be expressed by emoji, and emoji use can be tracked using Brandwatch, then I can find the most loved people in the world.
I launched from my bed, threw on my cupid suit and ran towards my workplace. In a world of division, who truly bought people together? I just had to know.
My mind was racing, how was I going to do it? Was knowing the most loved person going to blow my mind?
I tried to steady myself, drunk on the prospect of my imminent discovery.
Into Brandwatch Analytics I typed the fateful words:
raw:❤️ AND site:twitter
The mentions began to flood in. There were so many. Too many. How was I going to control the data, to find the most common names?
“HOW?” I shouted. Luckily, my colleagues were not yet in the office to witness my fury.
Rage bubbled through my veins as I scrolled through the mentions. So many names. Such limited brain power to process them.
Then I realized. The new Brandwatch topic cloud – I could surface the most commonly used names in tweets that contained heart emojis.
Composed, ready, I navigated to the topics tab.
What I saw was a mess.
Emojis, random words, BTS – these weren’t the names I sought, the names I desparately needed.
This topic cloud needed pruning, so I went into the filter section. There it was, the only checkbox I needed.
I clicked. I closed my eyes. When I opened them 15 minutes later the holy names were revealed to me.
The top three names I was presented with were:
3. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
2. Jason Statham
1. Kevin Hart
At first I was joyous – I knew the truth! But then I clicked into the mentions, and I found out that these heart emoji’s tweets were almost all from the same sources.
Dwayne and Jason’s new movie, Hobbs and Shaw, invited tweeters to favorite their promotional tweet, using a heart emoji to communicate this. Meanwhile, a comedy video where Kevin Hart is surprised with a Chinese New Year celebration was retweeted over and over, cementing his association with the heart emoji in my rigorous study.
I wasn’t looking at the most loved people on Earth. I was looking at some Twitter mentions that had gained popularity.
The focus wasn’t love.
In order to view the true list, I would have to remove retweets and look at individual mentions of the heart emoji and the people who were being mentioned alongside it. I used the quick search box to remove them.
Again, I shut my eyes. I let my breathing relax, found some peace.
When I finally peeked through the slits in my fingers, the results surprised me.
It wasn’t a list of celebrities I looked at, it was just single names.
I knew the names of the most loved people, and here I was, connected to them through data – the strongest of bonds.
As my colleagues filtered in for their daily slog, I sat quietly knowing that I and I alone knew the truth.
What could I do with this knowledge? Sell a book of baby names, perhaps? Change my own name, even?
Instead, I came here, to the Brandwatch blog.
“The people must know,” I whispered, as I began to type. “This is my legacy.”
So what are the takeaways here?
*Unless you’re Meghan Markle in which case you will get quite a lot of hate.
Tune in tomorrow when I wake up and decide to find the most disliked dinosaurs. In the meantime, Happy Valentine’s Day.