The Life of A Hashtag

This topic may seem like one that wouldn’t be traditionally graphed, but in the category of data visualization I feel “The Life of A Hashtag” is a perfect example of the power of data visualization.


Taken from, “The Life of A Hashtag” is an interactive infographic that takes the hashtag that you input in real time and tells you multiple statistics about it. According to Google Dictionary, an infographic is “a visual image such as a chart or diagram used to represent information or data”. This infographic tells the viewer (referring to the past month) the number of tweets including the hashtag selected, the most influential tweet and the current most influential tweet to date as well as others. For the sake of this blog post, I decided to input the hashtag “#GoBlue” into the function input and was very interested with the results. So if you’re wondering what the life of “#GoBlue” looks like, it is something like this:Image

Interpreting the data, I found this infographic very effective. “The Life of A Hashtag” told me things about the hashtag “#GoBlue” that I would have never known, such as the most popular person to tweet it this month was @ParisLemon, who surprisingly has more followers than The University of Michigan Men’s Basketball Team. The infographic also has a line graph that shows the spikes in activity in the past month of “#GoBlue” and there is a large jump around February 23. This shows a limiting factor of the infographic because there is no explanation, other than common knowledge. By common knowledge, I simply mean that if the reader lives in Ann Arbor, or follows Michigan Men’s Basketball, they would know that the men’s team played, and beat, Michigan State University by 9 points with a final score of 79-70. 

My final thoughts on this infographic are that I believe this is a great tool for representing data. I really enjoyed the fun colors, texts and graphs, and specifically in this example I enjoyed the interactiveness. Although this is a great tool, all data visualization has its limits and nothing is 100% without text to help explain it.


3 thoughts on “The Life of A Hashtag

  1. I liked the example of #GoBlue. It was really prevalent and it’s interesting to see how data visualization can be done to show the life of something that is pretty modern. I think that this type of graph is something very up to date and it works well when it measures something like Twitter. It also just works better with something that isn’t particularly “academic.” It would be weird to see a table or chart analyzing the use of the #GoBlue, as if it was something being studied by scholars. It’s interesting to see the peaks of when it was used the most, probably when Michigan had big wins. We beat MSU on Feb. 23rd so it makes sense that it is up so high. I think if what you are doing is not a pressing academic issue, then using data visualization like this is definitely a good thing.

  2. This is a nice infographic to observe (at least for a Wolverine), but I agree that it isn’t all that useful for an academic. It’s fun to look at, read, and repost, but there’s not enough explanation or raw data to be explored.
    Nice post, and GO BLUE!

  3. I love infographics! I wonder what Tufte would say about these? How are they different from the graphical display of quantitative information?

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