The Geography of iPhone 5 Hype

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Today's Apple press conference is receiving a lot of media coverage already with the normal slate of exciting and boring rumors about the hardware and software. I decided to take a look at where those stories are finding unusual traction audience*. Looking at Twitter's trending topics for each city listed, I recorded each city where 'iPhone' (or 'iPhone 5' or '#iPhone5') was trending. If you look closely, there is an interesting twist to the geography of hype here.

Of course, iPhone is trending is San Francisco, but the real surprise is the southeast. Among the northeastern cities (Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, Providence, New Haven, etc) only Pittsburgh Twitter users have made 'iPhone trend.' In the southeast, you find Houston, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Orlando, Greensboro, Richmond, Norfolk, Nashville, and Raleigh Twitter users all talking about the new Apple gear.

* As @mysterioso pointed out on Twitter, trending topics measure change in popularity, not absolute popularity, so what we see here is where people are relatively more excited about the iPhone than they are normally. I.e. A lot of background chatter about iPhones may make it difficult for the iPhone 5 stuff to rise above the trending topic threshhold.
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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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