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French Tweets

Between casual personal hacking and work responsibilities, I’m going on close to a year of serious Twitter data collection activities. So I’m always interested to see other folks’ case studies of their Twitter data hacking. Laurent Luce describes, in exquisite detail, a recent effort to track French politician mentions in the Twittersphere during their 2012 election.

This post describes how Pytolab was designed to process Tweets related to the 2012 French presidential election, in real-time. This post also goes over some of the statistics computed over a period of 9 months.

I must be a vet now since I saw their number of 8 million tweets and thought “is that all?” But even at that scale there’s something to be learned from their processing architecture although I was surprised that they ran into peak performance issues with an Amazon EC2 micro instance. A lot of the work I do is on nominally equivalent hardware and it seems up to the task. Maybe it’s the virtualization tax.

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