Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Twitter Reads Your Mind on Black Friday

You may not be rioting at Walmart, but you’re probably still spending part of Black Friday talking about things you are buying, will buy or would like to buy.

Especially, if you’re on Twitter. Because we love to talk about Black Friday on Twitter.

And here’s a handy real-time — or close to real-time — chart that shows us exactly what kind of Black Friday stuff people are talking about on Twitter, sorted by different categories. The data comes directly from the Twitter “firehose” that generates 400 million comments a day, and it’s sorted by Mass Relevance, a company that makes its living sorting social media for brands and other clients.

Not surprising: Twitterers are talking about Apple more than any other electronics brand, by a long shot. A bit surprising: They are more interested in talking about the Xbox 360 than any other gadget.

And when it comes to toys, it’s Lego, then Barbies, and then everything else is so far behind it barely registers (click chart to enlarge).

You can see a live version of the chart here, along with other goodies like a stream of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pics, and breakout charts that compare things like the volume of tweets about iPhone 5s to tweets about Galaxy SIIIs — the iPhone is currently winning that one by a 4:1 ratio.

It’s sponsored by Starcom MediaVest, the big media planning/buying company owned by Publicis. Lisa Weinstein, who heads up digital for Starcom, said her agency is paying for it in order to help convince clients that getting people “engaged” on the Web — as opposed to just seeing banner ads — has “lower-funnel implications for brands” — that is, it can help convince people to buy stuff.

Next trick: Proving that this chatter actually does result in sales.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work