Following the news that Soham killer Ian Huntley was attacked in prison over the weekend, I decided to have a look at the reaction this story was getting online.
First, a quick look at how the story was handled in 2 very different newspapers.
Can YOU guess which visualization belongs to which newspaper?
I was also interested to assess the reaction to the story on the social networking site Twitter.
For sake of experiment, I created a spreadsheet of all the tweets mentioning “Huntley”. (I chose Huntley over “Ian Huntley” so the search would not be limited to the more formal tweets from news outlets etc. I hoped “Huntley” would give a more casual, public point of view.
- I opened a new Google Spreadsheet
- I inserted the following code in A1 – =importfeed(“http://search.twitter.com/search.atom?q=huntley”, “”, “”, 20)
This created a spreadsheet of the last 15 tweets containing the word Huntley.
I now have the option to use this spreadsheet in a variety of ways:
- cut and paste the tweet contents into a web application
- export the document as an Excel file
- publish the spreadsheet
- create an RSS feed from the spreadsheet
Now to visualise the text.
First, I decide to use Wordle – a site that created word clouds from inserted text, or an RSS feed.
I initially used the RSS feed from my published Google spreadsheet – which created the following word cloud.
Unfortunately, this cloud was tainted with user names, and the subject of the true gist of the tweets were lost
- Still trying to nail LIVE data ..
- a quick news report (recorded and edited on Iphone)- probably from The Computers show on Wednesday night
- a podcast
- Soham murderer Ian Huntley attacked in jail (guardian.co.uk)
- Soham killer Ian Huntley’s throat slashed in prison (telegraph.co.uk)
- Ian Huntley attack: the Soham murders (telegraph.co.uk)
- Huntley back in jail after attack (news.bbc.co.uk)
- Huntley attacked by jail inmate (news.bbc.co.uk)