Data Scraping

For our assignment we had to pick one of two scrapers to collect data from social media networks. Since our research revolves around the changing effect on marketing in the online environment through prominent Instagram users’ advertisements. We concluded that it would only be natural to use the ‘’Instagram Hashtag Explorer’’ as a tool to collect the necessary data. We came up with the location London because we thought London would be sufficient to use for our findings, which we will expand on later on.

Before we got started we had to read through the manual, watch a few tutorial videos and skim through various other manuals that were presented by former and current users of the program Instagram Hashtag Explorer. Once we properly finished our preparation in order to come up with the right results, we thoroughly thought about which location to use to collect the much needed data. We came up with London.

After we decided upon the location, we launched the tool ‘’Instagram Hashtag Explorer’’. It took us some time to figure it out but once that was done and dusted we put the tool to use.
#code
In the world of social media, code is quite a brought yet frequently used words. Why did we come up with the word code? Every now and then advertisements pop up where one has to submit a certain code to win prices. Instagram users have used the same concept where they post certain products that you can win by submitting a code. code is also a product. It’s a brand name, actually it is more than a brand name, it’s a lifestyle. Code focuses on men products e.g. clothing but also traveling and photography. Via Instagram code basically sells itself.

#blogging
People tend to use social media networks for several reasons. People use for whatever they find the most satisfactory. Blogging is a perfect way to enhance your creative writing. Blogging is also the perfect way to sell and to promote products. When it comes to blogging, the Instagram users do it via snaps rather than writing an actual blog. Jumpers, trousers, shoes, skirts, you name it they blog it. Hence we thought it would be both worthwhile and indispensable. Since it’s timesaving and ultimately very effective.

#instablogger
Blogging was more broad in the sense that it has many different platforms. Instablogger however is purely focused on the blogging that is happening in the Instagram world. Lots people use the hashtag instablogger to promote and/or to share new purchases and/or to share their goods. Blogging promotes more of a lifestyle of users. Instagram users can blog about their interior or their cats and dogs etc. but also brands. Photos of the newest collection for example.

#discount
Perhaps more straightforward than some of the other hashtags but that does not change the fact that a lot of data could be collected using this specific hashtag. Discounts, sales and offers are marketing tactics and therefore its terminology was part and parcel. Every consumer likes discounts hence the reason we threw it in there. Consumers don’t want to pay to full the price so the most obvious way would be to offer the consumers a discount. Whether it is an actual discount is not of relevance since it attracts Instagram users.

#fashionblogger
By using the hashtag fashionblogger, a lot of photos and pictures will pop up connected to these words. As already stated blogging does not only enhance your creative writing even though it is a total different thing when using the social media network Instagram but it also keeps people interested in what producers and/or users post about certain products. Fashion is quite self-explanatory. People follow the latest fashion and trends for not only clothing but all sorts of merchandise and equipment. Celebrities are the go-to bloggers on Instagram for everything fashion since many people believe that they are the trendsetters.

#sales
that 5 letter word that we would all like to see when we go shopping. Which products and brands are on sale. The amount of search results that one ought to get when searching for sales are enormous. It connects with our research question and for that reason we had to include the hashtag sales. It was also interesting the different hashtags that were connected with the hashtag sales.

#promotion
Promotion as in promoting products to create customer awareness. Promotion is everything that Instagram stands for. You snap a few photos you upload them and therefore creating your own personal profile via your uploaded pictures. That is the exact same with customers awareness. Brands, trendsetters, celebrities etc. they upload their photos wearing the latest brands or using the latest equipment in order to sell it on a shirt term basis. Instagram is the perfect platform to promote products and create a market for customers to come and see their well-liked brands. Once photos have been uploaded it will set things in motion. Promotion was a hashtag that couldn’t go amiss.

#offer
What do brands offer or to put simpler what is on offer? It kind of goes hand in hand with the hashtag discount and sales. But in order to get the most refined results you need to use hashtags that are connected with each other otherwise it would defeat its purpose. We used the market terminology ‘’offer’’ to actually see what was on offer before we decided to use it for data collection. What is actually on offer ? We asked ourselves before searching. Holidays, pyjamas, internships, job opportunities and more alike. Not only did it show us products and job offers but also applications for universities and sport subscriptions.

#voucher
voucher(s) would most likely show us products or services for sale at an affordable price, hence the word voucher. Hand in your voucher and you can get a discount or buy 2 and get 1 for free. We concluded that voucher was a hashtag we would need to connect certain other terms together. When we thought of the word voucher the words offer, sales, discount instantly made their way into our conversation.

The Instagram Hashtag Explorer wasn’t exactly the best of tools in terms of functioning. If ,for example, you waited for more than a minute to submit a hashtag, the tool would boot you out which meant that you had to do it all over again after you had logged on.

Before we submitted our search, we had decide on the amount of media we would like retrieve. When we got to 5000 data items we had to face a one hour time out. So in order to prevent that from happening the next time round we wanted, we thought it would be wise to search for limited items rather than the maximum amount available.

One literation gets 20 items, so it said. We started off with a subtle 60 and that apparently was too much to handle so we cut it down to a mere 25 in order to prevent another time out. We did that for all our hashtags and proceeded to use the collect data for the program Gephi.

Why London?

People come to London for lots of reasons – because of the great private schools, because of the booming back market economy, because they speak English in London and London property happens to be the reserve capital in the world. The greatest single expansion of the European Union happened when ten new nations, most of them Eastern Europeans, joined the EU on the 1st of May in 2004. But were these hard-grafting, ambitious Eastern Europeans interested in moving to Newcastle of Liverpool? They clearly weren’t. In the greatest wave of migration in the nation’s history, most of them came to London.

London, in terms of population, is widely reported to be the second biggest Hungarian city (200,000) and the sixth biggest French city (270,000). There are 150,000 Poles in London and many of them have grown up here. All of that started since the big EU bang. Nobody really knows the truth in terms of figures since they are endlessly disputed. The fact of the matters is that the numbers are too great to count, the immigration churn too epic and the magnetic lure of London overly too strong to be quantified. (gq-magazine, 2016)

You have to take on the world if you are going to live in London. It doesn’t matter if you are a van drive or a self-made millionaire, the bottom of the line is that you have to compete. Waves of newcomers are willing to work seven days a week as opposed to the hard working long-term Londoners. Londoners who fly first class are suddenly vying – for schools restaurant tables, for school places, for houses – with people who fly in private planes. In nowadays London, there is always someone way more richer than you, there is always someone who is willing to work twice as hard than you, there is always someone who wants it much more than you. At least that is the way London tends to feel today. It is without a shadow of a doubt the undisputed capital of the world

Piccadilly circus lies at the intersection of five main roads : Haymarket, Piccadilly Street, Regent Street, Shaftesbury avenue and Covent street. Piccadilly Circus was created by John Nash past of the future king George IV’s plan to connect Carlton House with Shaftesbury Avenue. As a result of the busy traffic junction, advertisers deemed Piccadilly Circus fit enough to install illuminated billboards in 1895. That got the ball rolling. For quite some times the plaza was surrounded by billboards, which was London’s answers to New York’s Times Square however as of today only one building carries a large electronic display. Due to the nearby shopping and entertainment areas, people find Piccadilly Circus a favourite place to congregate before going shopping. Which made it all the more natural for us to pick Piccadilly Circus to gather data from in regards to Instagram hashtags. Chinatown, Trafalgar Square and Soho are all within walking distance therefore making it the perfect location in London.
The Instagram Hashtag Explorer wasn’t exactly the best of tools in terms of functioning. If ,for example, you waited for more than a minute to submit a hashtag, the tool would boot you out which meant that you had to do it all over again after you had logged on.

Before we submitted our search, we had decide on the amount of media we would like retrieve. When we got to 5000 data items we had to face a one hour time out. So in order to prevent that from happening the next time round we wanted, we thought it would be wise to search for limited items rather than the maximum amount available.

One literation gets 20 items, so it said. We started off with a subtle 60 and that apparently was too much to handle so we cut it down to a mere 25 in order to prevent another time out. We did that for all our hashtags and proceeded to use the collect data for the program Gephi.

Gephi graph

For our assignment we had to pick one of two scrapers to collect data from social media networks. Since our research revolves around the changing effect on marketing in the online environment through prominent Instagram users’ advertisements. We concluded that it would only be natural to use the ‘’Instagram Hashtag Explorer’’ as a tool to collect the necessary data.

After we collected the necessary data we opened Gephi and made use of it by implementing the date in order to create a networking graph. Not till later did we discover that that was easier said than done. During the tutorial we practiced using Gephi with our lecturer and he pointed out that the program isn’t up to par. That was putting it mildly. Before we started working with Gephi we skimmed through some manuals to understand the program. After a few scares here and there due to program malfunctioning, we decided it would be best to thoroughly read the manuals and watch video tutorials. For our research we used multiple hashtags and that wasn’t properly explained during the tutorial nor was it in the manual and video tutorials therefore we decided to go with a location rather than hashtags. We stumbled upon some difficulties that we were certain we would be able to tackle to come up with the perfect result.

After so many errors we thought it would be best to delete Gephi and download it once more. After we downloaded Gephi one last time we were certain the problems wouldn’t emerge anymore. We were wrong. We couldn’t get it to work in the most satisfactory way so we sat together and discussed where to go from here. We all agreed that we would have to make do with whatever the graph will show and that it would be okay as long as we justify it.

We ended up with a graph containing clusters of nodes that represent the hashtags and the links that connect all the hashtags with each other. By adding colour to the graph one ought to get a clearer visualisation. As you can see the clusters showcase that specific hashtags are trending at certain places or even at certain times, depending on the collected data. The more hashtags, the bigger the data, the bigger the graph which is quite self-explanatory.

Gephi1

Our network looks like a collection of connected objects. The objects being nodes (hashtags) and edges (links) that connect with each other. fortunately we did get the wanted results when it came to the visualisation of the graph. Our graph differed at first as a result of the program not functioning properly.
Gephi2.png

Our hashtags are now labelled and they are linked. Despite all the troubles beforehand we did get the general idea about Gephi and graphs.

You could say that our former graph represents the earth and how we are all connected. Which was wat the actual graph was supposed to look like. The dots or the nodes are the hashtags. In our new graph They are linked and they are labelled and it does show a connection through the compactness of it. As you can see there are patches and there compact nodes that represent the strong connection between the hashtags.

The results to us were pretty obvious even if it wasn’t the initial expected result before we ended up with the correct result. We have learnt that all hashtags are connected one way or another and that some are more connected with each other than others. We expected the graph to show a network of hashtags on a global scale and global shaped. Where most hashtags would centre around the most influential cities in the world like: London, New York, Paris, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Beijing, Singapore, Tokyo and so forth. That wasn’t the case when we tried hashtags rather than the location and as it turned out wasn’t going to happen anyway since it didn’t look like an global shaped network.

Gifts, Makeup, match day programme were some of the hashtags labelled in our graph. You can get a clear idea by looking at them hashtags what consumers and/or pedestrians were sharing with one another. Which makes it all the more useful for bloggers to present them with the products that they are so keen on.

Piccadilly Circus, London. (n.d.). Retrieved March 1, 2016, from http://www.aviewoncities.com/london/piccadillycircus.htm

Why London is the men’s fashion capital of the world. (n.d.). Retrieved March 5, 2016, from http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/article/london-fashion-capital-of-the-world-lcm

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