Who’s Really Going to SXSW? A Twitter Analysis


The level of anticipation for SXSW is almost overwhelming. iPhone batteries are quivering at the thought of it.

Geeks of all kinds are just hours aways from Austin to kick off the interactive leg of SXSW. At times like this, I go straight to the data. I naturally want to analyze the madness I’m experiencing onTwitter, Linkedin, Hashable, Plancast, email, blogs, and every other community, app, or network under the sun.

I figured there was no better way to do my part in the madness then to analyze the Twitter stream for #SXSW itself, thereby further contributing to the madness (pretty meta, right?). Taking a look at the Twitter stream with an eye to *who* is heading to Austin, here’s what turned up.

Growing Conversation

For context, we can see just how fast the Twitter stream is accelerating as SXSW approaches.


Intuitively, we know that SXSW attendees are an influential crowd of super networkers. To confirm this, we looked at average Klout score and follower count for people tweeting with #SXSW.

To put this in context, we compared SXSW tweeters to this week’s other Twitter phenomenon, Charlie Sheen. It appears that SXSW is #winning in this category.


Taking the influencer thread a step further, shows SXSW’s reach across tech, music, media, and pop culture, drawing big names from all categories.


We know it’s an influential crowd, but where are people coming from?

Interestingly, the conference has yet to capture main stream attention outside of the U.S. (at least on Twitter). Drilling down in the distribution of Tweets by state, we found that the biggest share of tweets are coming from the conference home of Texas, with California and New York following behind.


Finally, what are the common interests amongst the SXSW crowd on Twitter? Using Export.ly we analyzed the bios of @SXSW’s 95,000 followers. In this case, we see music clearly rising to the top with media, marketing, and social media also popping out from the cloud. We can also see the strong presence amongst Austin locals which supports the distribution in our previous chart.

Hopefully this helps build on the anticipation already out there. Surely, the conference will generate even more data that we can dig our teeth into during the post-event hangover. In the meantime, looking forward to seeing you in Austin!



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