we write about the things we build and the things we consume
One of the things we’ve been working on here at MetaBroadcast is a way to determine what audiences talk about. Not only during a show, but also what the audience of a particular show talks about at other times. We call it ALSO (Audiences Love Something Other).
Today we’re ready to give you a look at the first public outing for ALSO, in the form of a special London ALSO that looks at the sport happening in London this summer.
what does it show?
This special version of ALSO monitors audiences for the Olympics. We’re tracking sports based on the BBC’s programme data for their Olympics coverage. For each programme, we show two things: what the audience talks about during the programme and what the audience for that programme talks about at other times.
This is incredibly exciting because it goes beyond what’s interesting in the content, summarising what audiences think about the content and what else they discuss in that context. This allows broadcasters to spot trends in the audiences for their programmes. What are audiences reacting to in a programme and what other things interest them as a demographic? What is the audience for a particular show talking about when not watching that programme?
We think that this type of analysis will become a very powerful tool for broadcasters to understand their audiences. By providing such analysis in near real time, we hope to be able to support broadcasters in understanding what matters to their audiences right now.
how does it work?
Well, that’s a secret ;) But we can tell you it analyses tweets made during tv shows, as well as those made by users at other times. All data is processed in aggregate and we only process public tweets. It’s powered by Atlas, our global video and audio index.
It’s great to be running this analysis for the biggest live event in the world, more than a single broadcaster and bigger than just the UK. This means the amount of conversation, and therefore data, is extraordinary.
Processing all of this in near real time is a huge technical challenge. Currently we’re using the Twitter API directly and processing the data using Hadoop. The resulting topics are then ingested into Atlas. Great as this is, we’re not resting on our laurels. Our intention is to make this a fully real time processing pipeline, moving towards stream based processing using Storm and writing results into Atlas using a queue.
ALSO is part of our work on the ABC-IP project. We’ll be extending and improving ALSO over the next few months, so keep an eye on the blog for more. In the meantime, keep an eye on London ALSO and let us know what you think.
London ALSO is available here: http://london.metabroadcast.com/Download as PDF