Here at Texifter, we are regularly impressed by the many ways in which our increasing number of end-users discover new ways to apply DiscoverText’s capabilities to their own research. With each new success story, we are – once again – reminded of the theories of MIT professor Eric von Hippel, who argues that end-users are often responsible for substantial innovations. For that reason, we will occasionally take time to highlight some of those innovative DiscoverText users on our blog, in hopes that you – too – will be so inspired. If you have a DiscoverText success story of your own that you’d like to share, feel free to write-up your own post or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On June 16 the “Nordnorge,” a Norwegian Coastal Express ship (or “Hurtigruten”), set sail from Bergen to Kirkenes for a historic journey around the Norwegian coastline. For its 134-hour journey, millions of Norwegians (as well as viewers from around the globe) tuned-in to ‘channel NRK2’ to watch a 24-hour feed from the ship, which sailed by stunning vistas, extraordinary wildlife, and mesmerizing landscapes. A Norwegian friend of mine told me that it invoked a sense of wonder and near-hypnosis.
Throughout Norway, “Hurtigruten – minutt for minutt” was dubbed a new media phenomenon, in which social media supposedly played a significant role in its vast popularity. But one Norwegian blogger named Jacob Christian Prebensen (with the technology and new media blog, NRKbeta) was particularly skeptical about the way in which Hurtigruten’s popularity supposedly spread. He suspected that while over half of Norway utilizes social media, only a fraction of Hurtigruten’s 3 million viewers were actually inspired by social media. Therefore, he used DiscoverText to tap into the “Hurtigruten – minutt for minutt” Facebook fan-page, which had been “liked” over 60,000 times. In spite of this number, the fan page did not shed any light upon how much communication had actually occurred on the fan-page itself; and so Jacob ingested every comment on the fan-page into DiscoverText, which counted approximately 10,000 comments.
Next, Jacob used a website entitled hashtracking.com to calculate the number of tweets that included the hashtag #hurtigruten. Also on hashtracking.com, he calculated the percentage of those tweets, which were neither messages nor retweets, but rather tweets that were specifically unique. While little did Jacob know that he could have easily accomplished this task in DiscoverText using the de-duplication and clustering features, he ultimately concluded that of the 30,000+ tweets that mentioned #hurtigruten, they originated from only about 6,000 users.
Jacob’s twitter calculation, taken together with his DiscoverText Facebook calculation, ultimately helped to disprove the popular Norwegian misconception that the popularity of “Hurtigruten – minutt for minutt” was solely a social media phenomenon, as only a fraction of the program’s Norwegian viewership actually utilized social media to spread the word.
(Special thanks to Mohammed Awed for his kind help in translation)