Twitter Use at WHA2020

As usual, after every Western History Association conference I like to analyze tweets in the days leading up to the conference and for the duration of the conference itself. And although this year’s conference went virtual, it didn’t mean any less tweeting.

Before we get to the charts: hats off to everyone at the WHA offices and the Program Committee for making the virtual WHA conference a huge success. Even though we couldn’t be there in person, you managed to capture the energy of the conference. Thank you for all of your hard work, and I can’t wait to see you all in Portland next year.

Tweet frequency.

As usual, when we look at Twitter activity leading up to and during the conference we have relatively low volumes then our peaks and valleys during the conference itself. For this year, we actually outpaced the number of tweets over last year.

Top tweets.

We can also aggregate the top Twitter users using the #WHA2020 hashtag. This year, Lindsey was far and away the leader in tweets thanks to her tireless live-tweeting of sessions. Chris came in second, followed closely by Rebecca, Brian, Megan, and Jennifer.

And as usual, can also see what words most frequently appeared over the course of the conference. Here’s what we have for this year (color and size simply indicate frequency of words) alongside the past conferences I’ve tracked. Click on any of these to get a larger image.

Finally, a (barely legible) semantic network to visualize user connections via retweets, quotes, mentions, or replies. Each line indicates a connection between users, and the larger nodes indicate a higher number of connections. It’s a much denser network this year.

Semantic network.

For the interactive and more readable version of this network, you’ll need to head here.

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Jason Heppler is a digital humanities developer living in Omaha. More »

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