Another Year of SXSWi Talk

It’s officially been a week since SXSWi (South by South West Interactive) ended and I think I’m finally recovered. A lot of exciting things happened in Austin over those five days from parties to new app launches and take-offs to interesting panels and learning experiences to even seeing Al Gore interview Sean Parker. I’ve also seen a lot of wrap-ups of what happened there from blog posts by attendees to infographs showing which brands were talked about the most at SXSWi. Well, luckily for you, today I have another SXSWi wrap-up.

Using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics platform, I looked back at all the chatter around “SXSWi.” This is far from fully inclusive as a lot of sessions and events created their own hashtags that they encouraged people to use when tweeting. Because of this, not every tweet about SXSWi or the events associated with it are included in my search, but I thought that this would give a fairly good representation of what was happening.

Using my search term for just “SXSWi” between the official dates of the conference, March 9-13, I found 63, 971 mentions. Of these mentions 799 were blog posts, 862 were from online news articles, 54 were forum postings and 62, 256 mentions came from Twitter.

Twitter was by the most used social medium used to talk about SXSWi. When I trended the mentions over time I found that the Twitter mentions were so large that the other channels look as if they barely raise above the zero line. We can also see that the first day produced the most talk, while as the days went on the excitement seemed to die down a bit.

SXSWi is not your average tech/social media conference. This is one of the largest in the world and this year attracted well over 20,000 people from all around the world. I pulled up a heat map of where people tweeting about it originated and found that people from every continent migrated to Austin, TX, for the festival. The majority of people seemed to originate from North America, but we can see that people came from as far as Africa, Japan and even Australia.

I then started to dive in to see what people were actually talking about. I started with a word cloud of talk over the five days. In the word cloud, words are shown given their frequency for appearing in my search. The larger the word, the more it came up in my search for talk about “SXSWi.” We can see that “SXSWi” was obviously the most used word as it was my search term. We can also see that there was a lot of talk about “companies” and “people.” We can also see quite a lot of talk about “launches,” “announcements” and “sharing” “ideas.”

Next I looked at a buzzgraph of the same five days. The buzzgraph shows us buzz words that surrounded my search term. These are the topics and keywords in relation to “SXSWi.” As well, the darker and thicker the lines are between these words, the more often they were found being used together. Interestingly enough, it seems that a large amount of the buzz around SXSWi had to do with an experiment that the BBH agency tried called “Homelss” “Hotspots” where they paid homeless people to walk around the city offering 4G access for mobile devices. There was, however, still a lot more words we see that were related to the conference actual conference.

Now that I’ve explained these two text analytics tools, let’s take a look at each of the five days individually. The following shows the activity levels around “SXSWi” followed by a word cloud and buzzgraph for each day.

DAY 1 (March 9)

DAY 2 (March 10)

DAY 3 (March 11)

DAY 4 (March 12)

DAY 5 (March 13)

Were you at SXSWi? What did you hear people talking about? Leave us a comment and let us know (we’re actually interested to know).

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