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December 17 2010

15:27

March 05 2010

21:54

Can Social Media Chatter Predict Oscar Winners?

The biggest night in movies is two days away, and everyone has an opinion as to who will win an Oscar. While there isn't a proven formula that can tell us which film is going to win, a closer look at social media such as blogs and Twitter can provide some interesting perspective as to which nominees are dominating conversations and spurring emotional reactions.

Here's a look at the favorite contenders, as determined by social media chatter.

What the Blogs Are Saying

Sysomos, a social media analytics firm, today unveiled an updated buzz chart for the 10 Best Picture nominees. The chart outlines which films captured the most attention and generated positive buzz -- two potential indicators of Oscar destiny -- on blogs over the past month. The blogosphere was measured based on share of voice (percentage of overall conversation) and sentiment (percentage of favorability).

According to Sysomos's findings, "Avatar" leads the conversation with 25.6 percent of blogger attention (share of voice), while "The Hurt Locker" was second with 18.1 percent. Based on this assessment, "Avatar" is the favorite to win Best Picture.

I asked Sysomos to apply the same blog research to three other Oscar categories: Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Director. To keep the searches relevant, Sysomos narrowed the queries to include the name of the actor, actress or director and "oscar" or "oscars" and "academy awards."

According to the share of voice analysis, Jeff Bridges ("Crazy Heart"), Sandra Bullock ("The Blind Side") and James Cameron ("Avatar") look like good bets to win in their respective categories. The sentimental favorites are Colin Firth ("A Serious Man"), Carey Mulligan ("An Education") and Lee Daniels ("Precious").

Best Actor

Actor Share of Voice.jpg

Share of Voice Rankings:
1) Jeff Bridges (25%)

2) George Clooney (24.4%)

3) Colin Firth (18.2%)

Best Actor (Sentiment).jpg

Sentiment Rankings:
1) Colin Firth (62%)

2) George Clooney (58%)

3) Morgan Freeman (57%)

Best Actress

Actress (share of voice).jpg

Share of Voice Rankings:
1) Sandra Bullock (28.2%)

2) Carey Mulligan (22.2%)

3) Meryl Streep (20.8%)

Actress (sentiment).jpg

Sentiment Rankings:
1) Carey Mulligan (63%)

2) Meryl Streep (57%)

3) Gabourey Sidibe (57%)

Best Director

Best Director (Share of Voice).jpg

Share of Voice Rankings:
1) James Cameron (33.8%)

2) Kathryn Bigelow (24.9%)

3) Quentin Tarantino (16.3%)

Best Director (sentiment).jpg

Sentiment Rankings:
1) Lee Daniels (68%)

2) Jason Reitman (62%)

3) Quentin Tarantino (56%)

Talk of the Town on Twitter

In Hollywood, it's not always good to be the talk of the town (see the controversial news that broke about "The Hurt Locker"). On Twitter, the talk is real-time and runs the gamut from great to good to bad to downright nasty. So while a high number of Twitter mentions might signal heightened interest in a nominee's performance, it doesn't necessarily mean they're gathering support.

The nominees who have the largest share of voice on blogs over the past month were also talked about the most on Twitter. Sandra Bullock has the most Twitter mentions (8,732), followed by James Cameron (6,176) and Jeff Bridges (5,785). In addition, the sentimental favorites on Twitter reflect the same emotions of the blogosphere, as tweets around Colin Firth (second), Carey Mulligan (second) and Lee Daniels (fourth) are highly positive, yet trail the category leaders in overall quantity.

Twitter Rankings (past 30 days)

Best Actor

Colin Firth tweet.jpg

1) Jeff Bridges (5,785)
2) Colin Firth (1,886) - positive sentiment leader with 61%

3) George Clooney (1,706)

4) Jeremy Renner (1,239)

5) Morgan Freeman (733)



Best Actress

Carey Mulligan Twitter.jpg

1) Sandra Bullock (8,732)
2) Carey Mulligan (3,839) - positive sentiment leader with 63%

3) Meryl Streep (2,494)

4) Helen Mirren (451)

5) Gabourney Sidibe (22)



Best Director

Lee Daniels Twitter.jpg

1) James Cameron (6,176)
2) Kathryn Bigelow (2,982)

3) Quentin Tarantino (1,100)

4) Lee Daniels (971) - positive sentiment leader with 69%

5) Jason Reitman (633)

Will Social Media Predict the Winners?

Now that we know the names and films dominating the discussion on blogs and Twitter, it's simply a matter of sitting back and watching the show on Sunday. Then we'll have a sense of whether our collective sentiment is also interesting science.

Nick Mendoza is the director of digital communications at Zeno Group. He advises consumer, entertainment and web companies on digital strategy, distribution and engagement. He dreamstreams and is the film correspondent for MediaShift. Follow him on Twitter @NickMendoza.

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