Click here for the slides from our sold-out public lecture at the Edinburgh Science Festival, 2015.
In 1314 Robert the Bruce defeated Edward II’s army at Bannockburn, which led to Scottish independence. We have just 4 contemporary accounts of that struggle.
Well a few things have changed between then and now. In the 1970s, the US military invented the internet for the purpose of sharing pictures of cats and porn. It proved a success, and in the last decade, we’ve seen social media allow everyone with a computer or a smart phone to have an online voice.
So when in 2014 we had the Independence Referendum, there were rather more than four people giving their views.
These slides look at the Independence referendum, as told by everyone on Twitter. Over the course of 2014, some 82,000 people posted 10 million tweets about the referendum.
That’s a wealth of material — but that very abundance of riches poses a challenge: How can we read & make sense of 10 million messages?