Thursday, 28 April 2011

The volume and sentiment of online conversations around the royal wedding / Meltwater Buzz

With the clock now definitely ticking, conversation around the world has been dominated by the details of the biggest wedding of the year. The topic on everyone’s lips, from general chit chat to worldwide news, is of course the upcoming royal nuptials. Whether you care about how Kate will wear her hair, or who will be sitting next to who on the big day, it’s almost impossible to escape the hype.
The conversation online has been constant as the royal wedding continues to make headline news, and two topics of particular interest that we have been monitoring are the dress and security around the day itself.
Using Meltwater Buzz, we analysed the volume and sentiment of online conversations around the royal wedding, the royal wedding dress and the security for the day.  Of those, security returned the highest volume of online buzz.  
However, volume of online buzz alone doesn’t give the full story. On the surface it would seem that the topic discussed most widely is the wedding day security. Dig a little deeper into the sentiment of these online conversations however, and we find that the topic generating most debate and conversation is not the “biggest security event in history”, costing a reported minimum of £20million, but what Kate will be wearing on her wedding day.

“Most people have an opinion on the royal wedding whether or not they are excited about it. What we have attempted to do here is show that when you are analysing online sentiment you can’t simply take the raw data at face value.  Instead, you have to apply further scrutiny to find the insight that you are looking for. In this case a high volume of mentions of the term ‘security’ could mislead someone into thinking that is the most conquered topic. But significant fluctuations in sentiment around the dress show that the bride’s attire is the thing that has really dominated conversations.” Says Mike Anderson, Area Director at Meltwater Buzz

Speculation around what Kate, and indeed her famous guests will be wearing took off around 10th April with conversation mounting around the 15th that the first glimpses of the dress may be obscured by umbrellas following a prediction of bad weather on the day. Just a few days later, around the 20th April, we saw a drop in sentiment as a relatively unknown designer is apparently commissioned to design the dress. Sentiment soon shot back up with a celeb blogger threatening to go to the wedding in her own wedding dress, in the hope of changing William’s mind!

In short, it may look like security is at the forefront of our minds as our future King marries his Queen, but all we really want is to see is what she’ll be wearing!
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