Conversations taking place on blogs, forums, and major news platforms have grown more positive in sentiment over the past two years, and the rise in social media adoption worldwide has slightly diminished North America's position as the center of the social media universe, according to a report by Sysomos.

Social conversations are growing more positive. Among 4,608 million social media mentions analyzed across three channels—blogs, forums, and major news sources—more positive sentiment was recorded as of as of the 18 months ended mid-2011, compared with 2009: 

  • Blogs: Positive sentiment increased to 49% as of 2011, up from 44% in 2009.
  • Forums: Positive sentiment increased to 25%, up from 20%.  
  • News sources: Positive sentiment increased to 56% as of 2011, up from 53% in 2009. 

All three channels, blog, forums, and news, registered a drop in neutral sentiment over the previous year, 2, 5, and 1 percentage point, respectively.

Below, additional findings from Sysomos's Social Media Statistics report, which examines the nature of social media conversations in blogs, forums, news sources, and Twitter over the past two years. 

Conversations Getting More Global

Over the past year, the geographic composition of social conversations in blogs, forums and news has also shifted with the "share of voice," measured by the volumes of conversations in each geographic area, becoming more dispersed.

Among the social conversations analyzed in the study:  

  • The US still maintains the largest share of voice across the three channels, accounting for 34.6% as of mid-2011, up from 32.5% in 2009. 
  • China's share of voice more than doubled over the study period, from 3.0% in 2009, to 6.5% in mid-2011.
  • Japan, Brazil, and Indonesia join the ranks of the top 11 countries, replacing Italy, Turkey, and India.
  • Spain and the UK suffered the greatest drop among the top 11, losing 50% and 32.7% of share of voice, respectively, from 2009 levels.
  • Canada still ranks sixth, registering a small increase in share of voice from 3.4% in 2009, to 3.6% in mid-2011. 

Sentiment On Twitter

The sentiment of social conversations around Twitter (positive or negative) hasn't changed over the past year.

Looking at Twitter as a medium itself, and among more than 9,364 million tweets studied worldwide, 27% of conversations were positive in 2010, and 18% had a negative sentiment. Some 55% of conversations remained neutral.

An analysis of the first half of 2011 (among 9,529 million tweets studied) shows a very similar distribution: 26%, 17% negative, and 55% neutral sentiment for all conversations.

Twitter Share of Voice

In contrast to to blogs, forums, and news sources, the US share of voice on Twitter is declining. In 2010, the US accounted for 44.4% of total conversations on Twitter. In 2011, that level fell to 39.1%.

By contrast, the volume of conversation via Twitter in other geographic areas is growing at faster rates, similar to those found in blogs, forums, and news channels.

* Positive sentiment is defined as mentions that include terms such as love, like, great, awesome, incredible, etc.  By contrast, words such as hate, disgust, dislike, terrible are tagged as having negative sentiment.

About the data: Using Sysomos Media Analysis Platform (MAP) and Heartbeat the following social media channels were analyzed to produce the insights for this report: Some 606 million blogs, 780 million forums, and 161 million news sources (e.g., the New York Times, and Wall Street Journal) were analyzed in the 12 months of 2009; from 2010 to mid-2011 861 blogs, 1,942 million forums, and 258 million news sources were analyzed. Twitter findings are based on the analysis of 9,364 million tweets, issued July to December 2010, and 9,529 million tweets issued January to June 2011.

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Social Conversations Becoming More Positive and Global

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