How / Why did Rakhi trend – A case study

August 3, 2009 at 11:55 pm | Posted in arbit, criticism, fakereviews, humour, Internet, spam, Technical, twitter, Visions | 10 Comments
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I assume that most of you are still recovering from last night’s events. Totally surreal stuff, I must say. Triple Baaraats, 3 grooms , 2 idiot MC’s and of course the multiplee talented Rakhi Sawant. A by-product of this whole ruckus was that India witnessed yet another trending topic [after #indiavotes09 etc ]

This was a pretty interesting experience to watch, as well as to participate in, as one could clearly see the effect of opinion snowballing, and mass-hysteria eventually taking over.

This is all I can say about ‘why’ did Rakhi trend. Well you see, ‘ The human mind is a complex system, and…”.

Oh, ditch that. It’s the ‘how’ that’s explainable.

So, how did Rakhi Madamji muster so much mojo?

Well, the obvious answer has to got to be – “due to a lot of tweets in a short timeframe”.

For the uninitiated, I’ll provide the same background that I wrote on http://whatthetrend.com/trend/Rakhi [ which incidentally, is a wonderful site to know why a topic is trending on twitter. So the next time you see something like “Cash for Clunkers” or ” Bob Saget’s gone bonkers” trending on twitter, you know where to look for answers ]

Rakhi Sawant is an Indian film actress who participated in a Reality Show on National Television (Channel – NDTV Imagine) called “Rakhi Ka Swayamvar” to select a bridegroom for her. In the Final show aired tonight (2-aug-2009), she selected “Elesh Parujanwala” from Canada as her husband to be.

[ I’d throw in an image but for the fact that I couldn’t find a single decent picture, and even among the bhajan variety, there were none with a Creative commons license. Perverts, please search here ]

So, with this much info, lets dive into some statistics.

[ Note: ATPS – Average Tweets Per Second ]

The show started at around 9.00 p.m [ I.S.T], and for the initial 10 minutes the tweet flow was quite slow, at around 5 ATPS ]

Soon, some celebrities [or  twittebrities, if that floats your boat ],  joined in the action, and all hell broke loose. Some samples.

gulpanag

[ Ah, the marvels of good liquor ]

pritish_nandy

[ Sums up the nation’s opinion with this tweet ]

Soon enough, the twitter universe was flooded with retweets, ” what the eff ” ‘s, <brain explodes>, ‘shoot me. shoot me now‘ ‘s , on one end.

Not to be perturbed by this, the positive Rakhi Chee forces retaliated with tweets like ” Go Elesh“, ” I’d marry Elesh, He’s cho cute“, ” OMG, Rakhi Sawant looks so hot  ya“.

But it was mostly the apathetic crowd that both cheered and jeered [ I know that doesn’t make sense on many levels, but work with me on this ], that was the peach of the tweetset. Sample these.

shaaqt

[ Witty that one ]

schmmuck

[‘Main is Desh ka damaad Hoon’, but in a canadian accent. Sounds vaguely familiar]

By this time [ around 9.30 p.m], the term was buzzing on Twittscoop at around 10 ATPS. The next best term was “Shark week” at 30 ATPS, which had already started to trend. So, on an a normal day with not much news happening [ no plane crashes, no celebrity deaths, no white police / afro-american professor drinking chilled beers with the U.S president ], we can make a decent speculation that there has to be atleast 30 ATPS for a topic to trend.

This by itself is no mean feat, so Kudos to Rakhi for keeping us glued to the telly. Assume that the average twitterer, even in the heights of their frenzy tweets about 1 tweet per 10 minutes.

[ The power twitterer does about 1 tweet in 2 minutes say, and the other twitterer who’s just an innocent bystander,just pops in to say ” Oh, why’s this topic trending”. say 1 tweet per 30 minutes].

In some universe with a favourable averaging scheme, the number 1 tweet in 10 minutes figures, and I’ll use that.

To achieve a critical state of 30 ATPS, for say about an hour, for the trend to be noticed, we’d need,

1 person can tweet 1 tweet in 10 minutes = 1 / 600 ATPS

x people need to tweet 30  tweets in 1 second. 30 ATPS

So, assuming an equal distribution of tweeting in the timeframe, we needed about 18000 people to start the trend, which is quite reasonable and achievable, since there around 25 million twitter users globally out of which around 2% are Indian, [1] [2], which makes it a potential 500,000 Indian users.

This was the tweet density for yesterday. This is what a one-time-wonder trend looks like.

rakhi_sawant_tweet_density

So, as you can notice, ‘rakhi’ was in the limelight for around 2 hours[ mentally visualize chopping off the curve where the height reaches 30 ]

[ graph courtesy: Twittscoop ]

There were some obvious side-effects of this inane exercise. People not used to seeing their twitter stream getting littered like this, got extremely pissed off, and started issuing death threats in all possible directions. Sample.

andi

[ My my, such strong emotions. Now you know how provocative Rakhi’s aura can be ]

So, in conclusion. Bah, easy peasy work. We can make anything trend, given enough determination, teamwork and resolute joblessness.

Hum honge #kaamyaab ek din. [ Loosely translates to ” May the #manForce be with you” ]

P.S: Respect to all the twitterers featured in this post. I come in peace. Don’t shoot the messenger.

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