While sitting in Pennsylvania this morning, awaiting the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, I pushed out the following across three social media platforms: Presently #SFgiants is trending higher than and #Sandy related hashtags on Twitter. Many ways to interpret that. What’s yours?
That was at 8:14 a.m. as the storm was moving over New Jersey, heading for the Keystone State … the day after the San Francisco Giants won the World Series.
If Twitter trending is a good snapshot of what people are discussing, then this morning’s trending is very interesting. It points out that the outcome of the Major League Baseball championship series is more discussed, more interesting perhaps, to the online population.
So, how do we interpret this information? Why is the World Series trending higher than what is being called a “superstorm” by the Associated Press? I’d like to propose several possibilities: Global Twitter penetration, matters of national interest, misplaced priorities, lack of buy-in to hype. I should also add that I’m not certain which one (if any) of these is the correct explanation.
Global Twitter Penetration
It’s important to remember that Twitter is a global social media platform. In fact, according to ComScore, “The Netharlands ranks number one worldwide in penetration for Twitter.” So, what is of more interest to the global community? Major League Baseball is followed by sports fans all over the world, while this storm (in global perspective) is hitting a small part of one country.
Matters of National Interest
This factor is very similar to the one above. The baseball series has an emotional impact on fans across the United States. Those living in Montana, for example, might be Giants fans, but might not have a major interest in a storm that does not impact them.
This takes us the question of where the priority of our thoughts and concerns should be. This is likely another debate for another time, but it does beg the question of whether we place too much emphasis on sporting events that have no tangible impact on our country. Should we not be paying more attention to a potentially devastating storm even if it is on the other side of the country from some?
Lack of Buy-In to Hype
Is the storm being blown out of proportion by professional media and social media users? I don’t know. None of us will know for sure until the storm passes. It is a possibility, however, that Twitter users aren’t discussing the storm because they don’t believe it will be as bad as predicted.
Again, I don’t know of the accuracy of any of these theories. They are just that: Theories. I’m interested in your opinions.