Twist to Graph Twitter Trends (Swine Flu)

This is a follow-up to the two O’Reilly articles from yesterday “Twittering the Swine Flu” and “Tracking and Graphing the Swin Flu with Twitter”.

I’ve been using Twist to graph Twitter trends, here’s an interesting graph of the impact of Swine Flu on Twitter. What I find interesting about Twist is that it shows you a technology that is impossible with Google Search. Google’s Flu Trend service is likely more accurate and able to track local Flu trends. Twist on the other hand is going to provide a quick snapshot of awareness of the general population.

With Twitter, services like Twist are able to perform analytics on the entire data set of Twitter (albeit indirectly). Twist didn’t need to ask for permission to create this valuable graphing service. On the other hand, Google Trends and Google’s Flu Trends had to be generated by the private entity that owns the search data. As services like Twitter and Google become essential tools of government, we should be comparing the openness of these platforms.

Here’s a graph of “swine”, “oprah”, and “obama”. As you can see the Swine Flu story seemed to break yesterday, and the awareness peaked out at just below 1%.

Click on the graph for more detail, or go to