What are people saying about… Bono?

Last week I looked at how Eurostar were faring, by putting together a dashboard in Netvibes which is powered by my social media search engine in the background. The results were interesting: we could see how the anger spread quickly through social media channels – and now, you can see how it’s waned quickly. No longer do we have photos of queues. Now, it’s photos of sleek-looking trains. But I imagine Eurostar still has some way to go to clear its name.

Today, I looked at Twitter and saw that for some reason #bonofacts was trending. “Do what?” I thought, then found out he’s been talking about filesharing. His point is probably quite valid: that, by making everything shareable, new talent is finding it difficult to come through, and he goes even further to say that this model is almost Robin Hood in reverse – we’re taking money from the pockets of artists and giving it to the rich. I’m not sure about the second point, but the first is a well rehearsed criticism of the  activities that virtually brought the music industry to its knees.

Solutions will emerge in time, in parallel to the conundrum of paid-for news content which Rupert Murdoch may – or may not – be about to crack. So perhaps a fantastically wealthy rock star shouldn’t be preaching to the unconverted. Or, basically, maybe Bono shouldn’t be such an irritating twerp.

That last bit was my opinion, but let’s look at what people are saying. Click here to see the Bono dashboard, or click the image below.

Bono monitoring dashboard - click to see the live version

Bono monitoring dashboard - click to see the live version

First off, I decided not to look at social photos or videos. It doesn’t make much sense: people don’t have much access to fantastically wealthy rock stars, whereas they do (or should) to trains. But I thought it would be interesting to look at news coverage, which in the main will (or should) give us the facts behind the story, especially one that is creating such a fuss. Because a fuss it is creating. Twitter is buzzing with it, as are the forums.

So we’ve got a nice four-column layout this time. It means we’re concentrating less on mid-crisis twittering – because really, this isn’t a crisis – and more on the balance between fact and opinion. It makes the charts a bit more scrunched but you can still see what’s going on.

Twitter has leapt to attention. Unsurprising really, as that’s where I noticed #bonofacts first. And I added a separate feed for exactly that – #bonofacts. Frankly, they’re hilarious.

It’s interesting to see how the news is reporting that Bono is getting stick from Twitter. I remember my days at Porter Novelli when we would take guesses at which online news would eventually bleed into the offline world. Now, it seems to be instantaneous.

The forums are telling a slightly different story, so much that I included charts from Omgili and Boardreader and will be following them closely to see which tells the truer tale. I don’t believe Boardreader’s chart – that the volume of posts has gone down. I can understand that there was buzz a while back when they announced they were headlining Glastonbury, and that relatively they may have lessened, but I’m not sure the chart is absolutely right.

I have to say I’m getting concerned at the output from Boardreader and Omgili. The charts don’t seem to reflect the true activity, and the RSS feeds sometimes bear little resemblance to the search results. It’s probably a tough nut to crack given the wide variety of forum formats out there, but they should be able to crack it. I’ve contacted both sites about this so let’s see what transpires.

Post-edit: Omgili got back to me and said yes, the RSS wasn’t working properly, and promptly fixed it to more accurately reflect the search settings! So that’s good. I’m still not sure the RSS output matches the charts however.

Overall, there is a noticeable proportion of foreign-language comments. This shouldn’t come as a surprise bearing in mind U2’s international reach, and in fact most of them are understandable. I just read a German one that, given my limited German, I could understand. But that’s mainly because of my less limited Anglo Saxon, if you know what I mean. In terms of monitoring this should be fairly easy to get around – simply stick an English Language filter into the results. I’ve already done this before to separate out British English from US English results.

So, ask yourself the question: what would Bono do? I suspect he’s aware of the commotion he’s caused. It’ll probably help his record sales, if no one else’s. If he’s not, then could someone tweet him quickly and tell him about this dashboard please?

Post Edit: ‘Bono’ is a classic case of a hard keyword. It’s Spanish for ‘bond’, so whereas the first results were good, I’ve been noticing a lot of Spanish coming in. The solution is to filter out items that include Spanish keywords, such as ‘y’ (‘and’), ‘o’ (‘or’) and so on. Fortunately I only have to do this in one place, and all the results should start filtering out those Spanish results. Goes to show the importance of getting the right keywords, both mandatory and exclusions.

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