Do we really know what people mean when they tweet?

Dr. Diana Maynard University of Sheffield, UK



We are all connected to each other...

Information,

thoughts and opinions are shared prolifically on the social web these days

72% of online adults use social networking sites



Your grandmother is three times as likely to use a social networking site now as in 2009



In ●

Britain and the US, approx 1 hour a day on social media

30 % of Americans get all their news from Facebook

Facebook has more users than the whole of the Internet in 2005

40% of Twitter users don't actually tweet anything



What are people reading about?

Of the top 10 Twitter accounts with the highest number of followers:

7 pop stars

2 social media sites

and Barack Obama

As you can imagine, there's a lot of mindless drivel on social media sites



There can be surprising value in mindless drivel



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Opinion mining is about finding out what people think...



Voice of the Customer

Someone who wants to buy a camera

Looks for comments and reviews

Someone who just bought a camera

Comments on it

Writes about their experience

Camera Manufacturer

Gets feedback from customer

Improves their products

Adjusts marketing strategies



More than just analysing product reviews

Understanding customer reviews and so on is a huge business

But also:

Tracking political opinions: what events make people change their minds?

How does public mood influence the stock market, consumer choices etc?

How are opinions distributed in relation to demographics?

NLP tools are crucial in order to make sense of all the information