The last time that I looked at how a social media analysis company was predicting a major cultural event it turned out to be right. That was when Social Radar, an application from Infegy, a service that measures billions of messages and articles from millions of online sources to track chatter on the Web, predicted that the Green Bay Packers would win the Super Bowl. As a Chicago Bears fan, not the answer I wanted, but the right one nonetheless.
Fast forward to this weekend and we have a different major cultural event taking place on Sunday evening. The Academy Awards may draw a completely different audience than professional football, but it's still an event that pits fiercely partisan fans against one another. Avoid coming out on the losing end of the inevitable arguments by taking Meltwater's advice and placing your bets with the people of the Internet.
To build the infographic displayed below (click to enlarge), Meltwater "monitored all conversations dating back to Jan. 25, when the nominees were announced, but also cross-checked back to Jan. 20 to make sure the conversation was genuinely about the nominee in relation to the Oscars," a spokesman for the company told Wired's John C. Abell. "Doing this, we expected to see a spike in conversation on the 25th, and that is what happened in all cases."
So what have people been talking about over the past month? According to Meltwater, The King's Speech will beat out Inception, The Social Network and the seven other nominees for Best Picture to take home the Academy Award. Natalie Portman has a clear lead over the four other nominees in the race for Best Actress and James Franco, who will be pulling double-duty as a host this year, will take home his first Oscar for his portrayal of Aron Ralston in 127 Hours.