The short answer: probably not.
Last week we asked, “Content Strategy: When Will it Break Out of Coastal US?“, a brief analysis of the geography of content strategy tweets, to which Clinton of Brain Traffic rightly questioned:
What about the links or discussions not labeled explicitly as Content Strategy?
My initial response was that explicitly labeled content strategy tweets (those mentioning the phrase or the hashtag) should be a representative sample of all content strategy tweets, including implicit non-tagged tweets; i.e. there shouldn’t be any geographical discrepancy between those who do and don’t tag content strategy tweets.
This played on my mind, so I spent some time grabbing hundreds of thousands of data points from Twitter, hoping to detect a geographic pattern in hashtag usage. After all, that would be interesting. Not that a real statistician goes specifically looking for a pattern in data like this, but real science be damned, I wanted an interesting result.
Unfortunately, nothing of any significance surfaced. The closest I got was from a random sample of tweets from 10 US cities, of about 20,000 tweets each. I chose five coastal cities and five inland cities, in a hope to link the results back to the previous coastal blog post. Although there was some variation – Denver exhibited the highest hashtag usage in 21.9% of all tweets, Seattle the lowest in 17% of all tweets – the statistical significance and standard deviation in the results can only conclude that these numbers are not meaningful.
I don’t usually like to post about non-patterns, but in some ways they should be given just as much attention as the interesting results.