Most Influential Topics of 2010

2010 was a landmark year for Twitter, as it moved away from being a novelty and became a mainstream tool for businesses and consumers alike. We analyzed the content produced over the past year to determine the most influential topics. At Klout, we believe that trends aren’t simply a factor of volume. These topics are not only shared widely, but shared by the top influencers on Twitter. These word clouds reflect the influence of these topics in shaping the year 2010 on Twitter.

These lists reflect the influential topics, but not sentiment. For some brands, such as BP and Toyota, becoming an influential topic reflects the controversy they encountered this year.

For a chance to dig in further, here are the topics ordered into top 10 lists:

Overall Topics: These topics reflect the pulse of 2010. While social media was a popular topic throughout 2010, others in the top 10 made it there from activity concentrated in one or two months. Discussion about Iran reached a peak in February, when it announced it would begin enriching uranium. Talk about Healthcare Reform peaked in March when the Health Care Reform Bill passed in the house and, of course, the World Cup peaked in June and July.

  • Social Media
  • Iran
  • Politics
  • Tea Party
  • Healthcare Reform
  • Haiti
  • Sports
  • Movies
  • Travel and Tourism
  • World Cup

People: So who are the most influential people of 2010? Unsurprisingly, Barack Obama tops the list, but Justin Bieber is a close second. Steve Jobs also makes the list, reflecting his popularity as Apple’s figurehead.

  • Barack Obama
  • Justin Bieber
  • Sarah Palin
  • Glenn Beck
  • George W Bush
  • Steve Jobs
  • Lebron James
  • Lady Gaga
  • Scott Brown
  • Nancy Pelosi

Companies: Coca Cola tops the list, peaking in July as they had a big campaign around the end of the World Cup. BP had a steep increase in May and June, beating out other companies for the top slot during those months as a result of the oil spill. Toyota’s discussion predominantly came from the recall in February.

  • Coca Cola
  • New York Times
  • Starbucks
  • Ford
  • McDonald’s
  • Verizon Wireless
  • AT&T
  • Disney
  • BP
  • Toyota

Tech Companies: Twitter and Facebook beat out giants like Google, Apple, and Microsoft for most influential tech companies of the year.

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Apple
  • Microsoft
  • Amazon
  • WordPress
  • Yahoo
  • Foursquare
  • MySpace

TV Shows: The fact that Lost and American Idol top this list is no surprise as they have a fervent following. Red Eye, a show on Fox News, was the dark horse of this list.

  • Lost
  • American Idol
  • Red Eye
  • Glee
  • True Blood
  • Jersey Shore
  • Big Brother
  • Saturday Night Live
  • Project Runway
  • Mad Men

Politicans: 2010 was a big year for politics and this list reflects the most influential politicians of the year. Unsurprisingly, Barack Obama tops the list with the rest far behind him.

  • Barack Obama
  • Sarah Palin
  • George W Bush
  • Scott Brown
  • Nancy Pelosi
  • John McCain
  • Harry Reid
  • Ronald Reagan
  • Joe Biden
  • Bill Clinton

Music: Justin Bieber is a genuine Twitter phenomenon and dominates this list.

  • Justin Bieber
  • Lady Gaga
  • Michael Jackson
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Britney Spears
  • Lil Wayne
  • Kanye West
  • Taylor Swift
  • Rihanna
  • Jay-Z

Products: The iPhone tops this list as the most influential product of 2010. The iPad comes in second, reflecting Apple’s dominance of this list.

  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Android
  • iPod
  • Blackberry
  • Tweetdeck
  • Skype
  • Windows 7
  • Amazon Kindle
  • Xbox 360

Sports: The fervor around the World Cup made soccer the most influential sport of 2010. Golf is high on the list, due to Tiger Woods’s affairs highlighting the sport.

  • Soccer
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Basketball
  • Baseball
  • Hockey
  • Nascar
  • Surfing
  • Cycling
  • Poker

Sports Teams: The Lakers won the championship this year so it’s no surprise they top this list. The Yankees fervent fan base makes them a consistently influential topic and, of course, the San Francisco Giants made it on the list when they won the World Series.

  • Los Angeles Lakers
  • New York Yankees
  • Boston Celtics
  • Indianapolis Colts
  • New York Mets
  • New Orleans Saints
  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Boston Red Sox
  • New York Jets
  • San Francisco Giants

Cities: The most influential cities of 2010 reflect the top cities in the world – with London, New York City, and Los Angeles topping the list. Austin, Texas made it on the list due to a high volume of influential tweets surrounding SXSW in March.

  • London
  • New York City
  • Los Angeles
  • Chicago
  • San Francisco
  • Las Vegas
  • Washington DC
  • Boston
  • Austin
  • Jakarta

Countries: The United States tops the list due to a consistent level of conversation. Iran dominated in February due to the uranium enrichment controversy and Haiti was a trending topic in January when the earthquake hit.

  • United States
  • Iran
  • Haiti
  • China
  • Indonesia
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Spain
  • France
  • Brazil

Tags: The top tags of 2010 reflect the political nature of this year.

  • #tcot – Top Conservatives on Twitter
  • #p2 – Progressive 2.0
  • #sgp – Smart Girl / Guy Politics
  • #tlot – Top Libertarians on Twitter
  • #ocra – Organized Conservative Resistance Alliance
  • #hhrs – The Hugh Hewitt Radio Show
  • #ucot – United Conservatives on Twitter
  • #ihatequotes – used for bad quotes or ironically
  • #mamavation – Mamavation Support Group

If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments!

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