Happy Easter from MediaMiser: The sweetest tweets we could find

Now that the snow has finally (finally!) melted and the grass has started peeking out, we can start looking forward to summer (or at least something that resembles spring).

And when I think of spring, I think of Easter.

As with any holiday, Twitter users love to post about Easter. After monitoring the Twitter hashtag #HappyEaster, here are our favourite posts from the past couple days showing off bunnies, baby birds and other spring things.

That’s a lot of eggs!

How Easter eggs are made…

That’s one scary bunny! I would be crying too. And for more creepy vintage bunny photos, check out Buzzfeed!

And what says spring more than baby ducks:

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Mad Men VS. Game of Thrones Week 2: Full of surprises

MadMen_vs_GameOfThrones

For a while now, we’ve been fascinated with the interaction between social media and television.

Over the next month and a half, two of the most popular television shows of the past decade will kick off new seasons — the first seven episodes of the seventh season of AMC’s Mad Men and the fourth season of HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Each Monday, we’ll recap how blogs and Twitter reacted to that week’s episodes.

– WARNING, SPOILERS FOR MAD MEN SEASON 7, EPISODE 1 AND GAME OF THRONES SEASON 4, EPISODE 2 ARE BELOW –

OK, so this week we got the premiere of Mad Men’s seventh season as well as a second episode of Game of Thrones.

This Sunday was all about surprises: on the Game of Thrones we had an unexpectedly (except for book readers, of course) gruesome death and on Mad Men we had an unexpected actress make a surprise appearance.

Let’s start with Mad Men, since this was its first week and we can get to the juicy GoT stuff later.

Compared to GoT, Mad Men is a much slower paced show. And, while it is much more critically acclaimed than its HBO counterpart, it does not receive nearly the same audience numbers.

We can see that in the volume of tweets last night. From one hour before the show aired to one hour after the show ended, we collected just less than 30,000 tweets with the hashtag #MadMen. That’s less than one third of the total tweets we collected with #GameofThrones for the equivalent period (and we’re tracking just one of the GoT hashtags).

The largest volume of tweets came at the beginning of the episode, as you can see in the handy chart below. This was mostly general excitement about the start of the new season.

madmentimelineweek2

We also got spikes for a pair of Campbells: when we see a very tanned Pete Campbell (played by Vincent Karthaiser) at 10:23 PM (all times Eastern) and then at 10:45 when we get a surprise visit from Neve Campbell, playing a woman who sits next to Don Draper (played by Jon Hamm) on an airplane back from Los Angeles.

There was one final spike after 11:00 PM, right after the episode finished.

Not surprisingly, Don was the most mentioned character during the episode, followed by the aforementioned Pete and Christina Hendricks’ Joan, who was a major character in the episode.

madmencharactersweek2

Neve Campbell’s mystery character was the eighth most mentioned, after other mainstays Roger (Jon Slattery), Megan (Jessica Pare) and Peggy (Elisabeth Moss).

Now let’s get on to the good stuff: there’s a wedding in Westeros and we all know what that means.

This time, though, it’s the wedding of the despised King Joffrey (played by Jack Gleeson) and Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer). And this time, the bad guys get what’s coming to them

Specifically, Joffrey dies a rather disturbing death, the apparent victim of poison. You can see the Twitter-sphere react to the scene in the chart below.

gameofthronestimelineweek2

And, unlike last time, people are ecstatic.

At the 9:54 mark, we registered almost 5,000 tweets per minute and the rate didn’t drop below 1,000 per minute until the 10:07 mark. That’s an even bigger reaction than we got to the last murderous wedding in Westeros — and we’re just tracking one hashtag this time!

The Lannisters dominated in terms of character mentions. Joffrey had nearly ten times as many mentions as any other character in the show, mentioned more than 10,000 times. Peter Dinklage’s Tyrion Lannister, who was at the centre of the episode as well, was mentioned more than 1,000 times, as was Lena Heady’s Queen Cersei, who held her unpopular son as he died.

gameofthronescharactersweek2

In general, blogs liked the episodes too. We collected 43 recaps for Mad Men and 44 for Game of Thrones. Just less than two thirds of Mad Men recaps gave the episode the thumbs up, and just one gave it a negative review.

Almost 80 per cent of recaps loved the Game of Thrones episode, and none said they disliked it.

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Tim Hortons’ Roll Up The Rim bonus roll widely panned on Twitter

The time of year many Canadian coffee drinkers pine for — Roll Up The Rim To Win season at Tim Hortons — is drawing to a close.

ROTR

If the payoff on this year’s new “bonus roll” on Tim Hortons’ cups disappointed you, you’re not alone.

But that doesn’t mean social chatter about the iconic contest is slowing down.

That’s partially because this year’s contest features the much-talked-about Anniversary Bonus Roll, which gives users a second chance (!) at finding a Toyota Corolla or some other coveted prize under that darned rim.

But Twitter reaction to this year’s contest has been anything but positive, according to a MediaMiser analysis.

Much of that can be chalked up to the sheer enjoyment some Twitter users seem to get by complaining about things. But the heightened expectations created by the bonus roll could be a big factor, as well.

As shown, our overall analysis of Roll Up The Rim-themed tweets by Tim Hortons patrons in March indicates that around 64 per cent of tweets were negative:

Overall ROTR tweets

  • Positive 8%
  • Neutral 28%
  • Negative 64%

Most negative tweets were complaints about not winning a prize, quite frankly, with some users going out of their way to criticize Tim Hortons’ official odds of winning (publicized as approximately one in six).

But that number gets even more negative when drilling down to tweets only mentioning the “bonus roll” — up to 73 per cent negative, in fact:

“Bonus roll” tweets

  • Positive 7%
  • Neutral 20%
  • Negative 73%

Much of that negativity surrounds what seems to be somewhat heightened expectations among some coffee drinkers regarding this year’s contest, thanks to the bonus roll:

Although, in all fairness, it seems some Roll Up The Rim fans were completely unaware of the bonus roll’s existence in the first place:

Live and learn, we guess.

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#Hashtagwars fun: We get in on the #WorseWrestlers action

As mentioned in a previous post, the late-night, fake game show on the Comedy Network called @midnight showcases comedians who bring forward the funniest tweets, YouTube videos and other social media posts to battle for the winner.

The show also encourages second-screen participation by getting viewers to tweet their best responses to #HashtagWars.

One hashtag war that caught the eyes of many tweeters, and was trending in Canada last week, was #WorseWrestlers.

 

While most tweets were just bizarre mash-ups of celebrity names and wrestling names, several photoshopped images made quite the rounds.

Here at MediaMiser, we decided to play along and made up our own wrestling duo called Vicious n’ Delicious.

MediaMiser's own Vicious 'n' Delicious #WorseWrestlers

MediaMiser’s own Victoria and Greg AKA Vicious ‘n’ Delicious #WorseWrestlers

We think they are way cooler than the other best of the #WorseWrestlers, but you be the judge:

 

 

 

 

 

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Mad Men VS. Game of Thrones Week 1: Thrones strikes first

MadMen_vs_GameOfThrones

For a while now, we’ve been fascinated with the interaction between social media and television.

Over the next month and a half, two of the most popular television shows of the past decade will kick off new seasons — the first seven episodes of the seventh season of AMC’s Mad Men and the fourth season of HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Each Monday, we’ll recap how blogs and Twitter reacted to that week’s episodes.

– WARNING, SPOILERS FOR GAME OF THRONES SEASON 4, EPISODE 1 ARE BELOW –

This week saw the premiere of the fourth season of Game of Thrones. We tracked the hashtag #GameofThrones (for simplicity’s sake, we chose just one of the two main hashtags) to gauge the chatter during this week’s episode.

At its peak, the hashtag was used more than 3,500 times per minute.

As you can see in the graph below, chatter was focused near the beginning and end of the episode — that’s a marked difference compared to the last time we tracked a Game of Thrones episode.

The initial conversation mostly consisted of general excitement about the premiere, as well as mentions of the infamous title sequence.

GameofThrones_Timeline_Week1

Most tweets at the end of the episode were reactions to the final scene, when Maisie William’s Arya and Rory McCann’s The Hound violently slaughter a band of Lannister men.

Not surprisingly, Arya was by far the fan favorite during the episode (see our second chart), and The Hound was fourth. Mainstays Danaerys (played by Emilia Clarke) and Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) were second and third, respectively.

gameofthronescharacersweek1

Fans were also enamored with new character Oberyn Martell (played by Pedro Pascal) and many noted the recasting of the mercenary Daario Naharis — 48 per cent tweets mentioning this character also mentioned the change.

In general tweets were overwhelmingly positive, at 83 per cent. In fact, the only negative tweets in the sample we analyzed came from complaints over HBO’s on-demand service, HBO Go, crashing as fans clamored to watch the episode.

gameofthronessentimentweek1

As for blogs, we collected just shy of 60 different recaps from last night’s episode. Everyone from Vulture, The New York Times, the Toronto Star and Entertainment Weekly got in on the action.

The response was overwhelmingly positive (it isn’t always), with almost 90 per cent giving the episode the thumbs up and none giving it a negative review.

gameofthronesrecapsentimentweek1

The season is just getting started, though. Tune in next week as Man Men starts up and we compare the two shows head to head.

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Analysis: Most reviews of HIMYM finale were negative

It’s been nine long years, but Ted Evelyn Mosby, the central character on How I Met Your Mother, finally met Tracy McConnell. And for fans of the show, the actual moment was worth the wait.

**Contains Spoilers**

But in the rest of the March 31 finale’s plot – Barney and Robin’s marriage and then subsequent divorce, Lily and Marshall’s child rearing, Barney’s daughter by a one night stand, and Tracy’s death — all felt rushed. Certainly, it seemed to leave most viewers feeling disappointed and frustrated.

And the audience felt cheated even more when Ted’s children realized the whole story was about Ted still being in love with Robin. 

“I said a few weeks ago that I didn’t mind if The Mother died, but I would if Ted ended up with Robin. It’s too easy, predictable and isn’t in line with the spirit of the show. And after seeing the lovely chemistry between [Ted] and [Tracy], especially their long-awaited meet-cute on the train platform, I’m upset that Robin had been the endgame all along,” wrote Joyce Eng, for TV Guide.

It could be that if the series had ended when the writers had first planned (after a couple of seasons), it may have been better received (in fact,  the creators had even filmed Ted’s children’s reaction to the end of the story in 2006, to ensure the actors looked the same).

Producer Carter Bays said earlier this month that he and co-creator Craig Thomas had the story line mapped out from the beginning, “This was the story we set out to tell and I’m excited we’re getting to tell it. Not everyone is going to like it, but that was never the guarantee anyway.”

But how did people like the finale?

Using MediaMiser’s sentiment analysis tool, we analyzed reviews in online news sources and blogs to gauge reaction. Looking at our sample analysis (see chart), 64 per cent of reviewers did not like the finale. People were angry and sad over the ending.

Reviews for the HIMYM finale were mostly negative.

Online news reviews for the HIMYM finale were mostly negative.

Only 36 per cent expressed positive sentiment about the finale.

“I thought the final episode was amazing except for a complete lack of Bob Saget! So many bombs were dropped and I didn’t want it to end!” wrote Alexis Stern, blogger for Kit and Kaboodle.

Indeed, the finale was so poorly received the creator took to Twitter to defend his show

Some reviewers, however, were able to find merit in the final show.

“He fell in love with the mother and was able to move on and when life didn’t go as planned he found himself still in love with Robin after all those years. It felt right to me and I wish it had felt right to everyone else too. This was a messy journey, such as life, and I enjoyed all the ups and downs,” wrote Robin Elizabeth for the blog Life is Not a Movie.

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Big Brother Canada 2: A breakdown of tweets by province

firstfive

Is this the end of the First Five?

In one of the biggest twists in Big Brother history, Canadian fans had full control over who would be put on the block for eviction in the most recent episode of Big Brother Canada.

The eventual nominees? Andrew and Sabrina, two members of the formerly-untouchable “First Five.”

Chart_Sara

But for the other houseguests, was provincial pride their saving grace?

We monitored tweets about the show for the past week, and the chart on the left breaks down which provinces had the most social influence in Big Brother Canada’s second Twistos Twist of the season.

While Ontario dominates (lucky for Arlie and Sarah, maybe?), Newfoundland barely makes the chart (where’s the support for Alison, Kenny, and Jon?).

Quebec doesn’t have much love for its representative, Sabrina, either.

On social media, fans were relatively negative about Sabrina after they found out she’d been nominated:

Ouch. But did they like Andrew any better?

Not much better. Looks like either one could being going home this week.

With Wednesday drawing near, we’ll soon find out who wins the Power of Veto (or if you’re impatient, like I am, you can find out here). Will either Sabrina or Andrew be able to take themselves off the block? If one of them is successful, will Canada’s third choice be put up for eviction? (Judging by the tweets, I predict Kenny would be the replacement nominee.)

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Viral checkup: First they were #Planking, but now everybody’s #Whaling

Want to join the latest Vine and Twitter craze? Just try #Whaling!

Started by world champion cheerleader Santwon McCray, based out of Louisville, Kentucky, the act of being videoed jumping up and splashing like a whale has taken off. (FYI, no real whales have been or will be harmed by this trend.)

 

Perhaps hoping his idea would go viral like #planking did, Santwon has even come out with #whaling-based swag: check out his line of T-shirts.

He’s even created a song, along with Trilla and HYP.

Not to be outdone, mainstream brands are now jumping on board the #whaling trend.

Barefoot Wine made a YouTube video, and Hollister Co. has made mention of #WhalingWednesday.

Finally, what kind of #Whaling blog post would this be without some of our favourite Vines:

 

 

 

 

 

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What does the fox say? A week of FiveThirtyEight by the numbers

whatdoesthefoxsay

I can’t be the only one who thought of this, right?

Statistical evangelist Nate Silver re-launched his website, FiveThirtyEight, in its new home exactly one week ago.

Now a part of the ESPN family after Silver’s contract ended with the New York Times, the site has a full stable of authors and a mandate to do more than just political analysis.

As Silver noted in his opening post a week ago, the site will now focus on a balance of politics, sports, economics, science and “life.”

As a huge fan of Silver and his statistical approach, I figured I’d take a look at the first week of FiveThirtyEight by the numbers.

In the first week of publishing, FiveThirtyEight churned out 22 “features,” 32 posts in their blog DataLab and one interactive feature.

I labelled all of the posts and features by the FiveThirtyEight category they fell under and it appears, at least for the moment, that the focus for site is skewed towards sports:

fivethirtyeighttopicbreakdown

That being said, we’re in the middle of the NCAA March Madness Tournament, an event ripe for statistical analysis. In fact, of the 19 sports posts and features, 11 focused on March Madness.

I also broke down some of the most common words used during the first week, which you can see below (note: this is not an exhaustive list the most common words used):

fivethirtyeightwordcount

I also tracked mentions of FiveThirtyEight URLs on Twitter for the week to see which posts and topics were getting the most attention.

The breakdown of topics by share of Twitter mentions looks quite different than above:

fivethirtyeighttwittertopicbreakdown

In this case, this is mostly because the “Life” topic got a huge boost from Silver’s intro post, which was the most tweeted FiveThirtyEight link for the week.

fivethirtyeightpoststweets

That was followed closely by the site’s only interactive so far, which shows FiveThirtyEight’s March Madness predictions and then by a post about the 2014 Senate race for a little bit of old-school Silver political prediction.

Since all three of those top posts were from Silver himself, it’s not surprising that he was the most tweeted FiveThirtyEight author:

fivethirtyeightauthorsbytweets

It also didn’t hurt that Silver had 8 posts during the week, second behind only Carl Baliak, formerly of the Wall Street Journal, who churned out a whopping 10 features and posts.

The first week of FiveThirtyEight hasn’t been without its fair share of criticism — including from New York Times blogger Paul Krugman and economist Tyler Cowen – and I think much of the criticism is spot-on.

However, I’m still excited to see what Silver and his team can do as they find their feet. I suggest everyone stay tuned.

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Delivering fresh computers to the Parkdale Food Centre

MediaMiser employees have ventured out into the community once again — earlier in March, our systems administrator Stefan Jakubowski stepped in to set up computers and software for the Parkdale Food Centre.

BiDlH3AIYAE8jk5

Some of the items available at the Parkdale Food Centre.

MediaMiser has a long-standing partnership with the food centre — one that’s been nurtured by CEO Brett Serjeantson since the company’s beginning.

“From the time I started working with the company Brett has been committed to helping with the community food centre,” said Shirley Schiavo, HR Manager.

“Even when we only had six people in the entire company we had a food drive.”

More recently, the office jumped on board for a winter clothing drive (during what had been a rather brutal season) and donations to their fresh food drive (which delivers fresh produce to families on a monthly basis).

So, when the Parkdale Food Centre received a grant to cover on-site technology, MediaMiser was happy to pitch in. Our IT department got all the needed quotes and spec’d out a trio of laptops for the centre.

While Brett was the first point of contact, Stefan was quick to volunteer his computer-building expertise.

Once the computers were shipped to the MediaMiser offices, Stefan installed the software and fellow IT and Client Services members helped transfer equipment to the centre.

While Stefan has done volunteer work before, he said this was a unique experience both in the formality of the arrangements and the opportunity to do the work on company time.

“I think it’s a great idea to get people involved; it’s great to get out of the office,” he said.

Mrs. Schiavo agreed. This campaign and others like it are part of MediaMiser’s Volunteerism Support Program, which allows employees to offer up to an hour a work toward a charitable cause.

“The biggest benefit is the connection to the community,” she said. “The bond that happens when you help people transcends the hierarchy of your employment.”

Stefan summed up his feelings a little differently, but with a similar sentiment: “If you aren’t doing something good,” he said, “then what are you doing?”

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