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My assignment was simple. Pick a city, run a Twitter search for #cityname, and see what Salience comes up with on the tweets I extract.
I live in the lovely city of Montreal, so I collected 10,000 tweets containing #Montreal, to see what's going on around my city.

You know what I found?

SPAM! SO MUCH SPAM! It seemed like every other tweet was selling something by Nissan or Duracell or Adidas or Diamond Supply Co. or some other brand.

After a very disappointing first pass, I ran a quick, no special settings discovery analysis to see if something stood out.

clouds: 64
morning: 30
wind: 23
missjuliexxx: 16
nicebabe111: 14
weather: 12

Ok, lots of weather stuff. Unsurprising there, we had a brutal winter. Nicebabe111 and missjuliexxx were a bit of an anomaly though.

Fearing the worst, I dug a bit deeper, and looked at the tweets they were each in. You'll never guess what I found: ESCORTS! Hundreds and hundreds of tweets with #escorts in them, 196 to be precise.

I kind of expected this. Montreal is well known as a city of vices, with our strip clubs, escorts and casinos being really popular. I guess I didn't expect them to advertise on Twitter is all :)

habs: 311
toronto: 125
goharshahi: 101
quebec: 57

This section isn't too bad.

The Habs is the nickname given to the Montreal Canadiens, everyone's favorite hockey team! It's almost playoff time right now, so the games are on everyone's mind.

Most of the Toronto tweets were either spam, or combined with GoharShahi. Apparently, Gohar Shahi is the religious leader of RAGS International, a spiritual group. He was speaking in Toronto a week after I ran this data, and it was being advertised on Twitter as well. Sigh, more spam.

Quebec tweets were not so bad though. They were mostly related to Montreal's language police shenanigans. Basically, the OQLF is a government agency tasked with ensuring the French language laws are upheld around these parts. Unfortunately, they sometimes take it too far, like last year's infamous Pastagate incident.

And there you have it folks, one man's journey into a city's tweets. If I've learned one thing, it's this: there is absolutely no point in using #cityname in your tweets, it's just going to get buried amidst all the spam. 

Categories: Analysis, Social Media, Text Analytics, Twitter