A look at the ICA 2014 annual conference on Twitter

The annual conference of the International Communication Association brought together communication, media and journalism scholars from across the world to Seattle for four days.

I have taken a look at the discussion on Twitter to get a flavour of the social media conversation generated by the ICA conference.

The main hashtag for the conference was #ICA14. 9,018 tweets with the hashtag were sent over the four days from Thursday 22 to Monday 26 May. This includes tweets, retweets and replies that included #ICA14.

The busiest day was the first full day of the ICA on Friday 23, with 2,553. Volume steadily fell over subsequent days to 1,144 by the end of the conference.

Volume of ICA14 tweets

The ICA is a wide-ranging conference covering topics from political to health communication and from advertising to journalism. The graphic below illustrates the broad set of topics discussed on #ICA14.

#ICA topic wheelThe word cloud of individual terms shows the scope of the conversation on Twitter on #ICA14 and some of the most prolific tweeters:

Wordcloud ICA14

The number of people who used the #ICA14 hashtag varied from day to day. There were 552 individual users on Friday, dropping to 452 on Saturday and 424 on Sunday.

Top authors ICA14There was an overall average of 4.3 posts per user, but some were far more prolific than others.

Katy Pearce from the University of Washington was a Twitter machine, pumping out 414 tweets over the course of the conference.

The next closest was Vilma Luoma-aho from University of Jyväskylä in Finland, with 308 tweets.

This is just an overview of the overall activity on #ICA14. There were other hashtags used by divisions and interest groups, so this does not capture every tweet send about the conference. It is intended to give a birdseye view of the #ICA14 backchannel which I, personally, found immensely informative and useful.

The analytics were done using Crimson Hexagon’s ForSight tool through UBC Journalism’s SMARTTLab.