Illustration by Andrew Conard
The Rev. Andrew Conard, web minister for The Church of the Resurrection in Kansas City, has made the best use of the Twitterverse I've seen thus far at General Conference. Andrew not only used Twitter, he archived the tweets related to #gc2012 in order to analyze the messages. Here with his permission is part of his April 26 blog post containing links to his research. The word cloud image used with this column also is Andrew's creation, based on April 25 tweets.
His work is quite commendable, although it doesn't rise to the level of the face-to-face discourse that as a communicator I contend works best in decision-making processes. He recognizes that that ephemeral nature of Twitter degrades its long-term value unless its content is archived.
A disclosure: Conard's supervising pastor is the Rev. Adam Hamilton, who has come in for his share of hard knocks in the past 24 hours following his presentation related to A Call to Action. Many tweets have described Hamilton's talk as "the rhetoric of fear," so it's reasonable to speculate that Conard has a legitimate interest in tracking perceptions of his boss around the General Conference. The Rev. Sky McCracken, superintendent of the Memphis Conference's Paducah District, laments the hostility directed toward Hamilton and offers a prayer for today's proceedings.
Here's an excerpt from Andrew's post:
Twitter has been a powerful tool of engagement during General Conference 2012. I thought it would be fascinating to archive and analyze the updates tagged with #GC2012. So I did and I want to share it with you. Unfortunately, there are some gaps in the data due to technical issues in data collection and not coming up with the idea before General Conference started. It should be very close to complete.
You can find the Twitter updates tagged with #GC2012 in a spreadsheet at http://j.mp/Iad0fW. (Updated through April 25, 2012)
You can find word cloud images created from these Twitter updates with the links below:
12-04-24 Twitter Updates from #gc2012.png - http://j.mp/ISLHmI
12-04-24 Twitter Usernames from #gc2012.png - http://j.mp/IeGp7u
12-04-25 Twitter Updates from #gc2012.png - http://j.mp/Jcsqus
12-04-25 Twitter Usernames from #gc2012.png - http://j.mp/IywFFa
I hope you will take a chance to analyze the data for yourself – what was being said during particular events or presentations? Who provided the most consistent updates? What times of day were the most active? There are lots of questions that could be asked of this data set. Feel free to use this data and these images in any way you choose. Will you please email me at Andrew.Conard@gmail.com with the ways that you use this data? I am excited to hear what you find.
I will do my best to provide timely updates throughout General Conference. Please check back to this post in the days ahead for updates.
Original Post: http://andrewconard.com/2012/04/25/twitter-updates-and-word-cloud-images-from-general-conference-2012/