Clinton Global Initiative – Were you Part of the 8 Million?

By, Seema Bhende, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, Social Innovation Practice, Senior Account Director
Sep 28, 2010 9:25 AM ET

For those of you who follow conversations related to social innovation, global development and philanthropy, you were likely overwhelmed with the volume of amazing content shared at last week’s Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting. To help analyze this content, Waggener Edstrom (WE) put our twendz pro tool to use to capture insight around the robust Twitter conversation from the event.  

Over the course of the upcoming week, we’ll share information, insight and learnings from the wealth of data gathered around the CGI Twitter conversation. Our kickoff to this week’s series explores “CGI by the Numbers.” In subsequent posts, we’ll explore the top Twitter influencers, retweets and conversations that took place at CGI.

I am proud of my agency’s significant engagement with CGI. Two of my colleagues – Melissa Waggener Zorkin (CEO) and Jean-Louis Robadey (Vice President Global Development) – took part in the annual meeting.  On Friday, Jean-Louis will share his thoughts and impressions of the meeting. At CGI, Melissa shared her impressive personal commitment to support entrepreneurial and economic empowerment programs in two Ethiopian communities that will be implemented by Mercy Corps.  WE provides pro bono counsel on digital strategy for the Clinton Global Initiative University, the college student version of CGI.

Without further delay, let’s dive into the numbers:

Can you guess how many Tweets were generated from CGI 2010?

  • In total, CGI generated 4,597 tweets from September 21 through September 23, of which 2,098 were retweets, 2,897 included links to additional coverage and 4,011 tweets incorporated at least one or more hashtag.

  • At the peak of CGI Twitter traffic, there were nearly 8 million people following the online conversations.

  • Conversation was driven mainly by panel sessions featuring heads of state, government leaders from around the world, CEOs, celebrities, philanthropists and nonprofits, all of which were streamed live at This allowed for thousands of people beyond the conference walls to watch the discussions in real-time while participating in various conversations online.

  • The high number of retweets, links and use of hashtags shows the high level of engagement and participation by the audience present at the conference and beyond.

Key Twitter Metrics from CGI

If you love to wallow in data, this next section is for you. The graph below explores the overall measure of frequency, reach and level of influence during CGI. To provide context, we define these terms accordingly:

Frequency: Total number of tweets from a given timeframe. In short, frequency = tweet volume.

Reach: Total number of followers in a given timeframe. This number can fluctuate as tweet followers are added and subtracted from tweet profiles on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. But in short, reach = total number of potential twitter followers. So basically, your audience.

Level of Influence: Influence is the sum of the influence scores (0-5 scale) for each tweet related to the search topic during the specified date/time. Influence will indicate the overall impact of the tweets that are being sent about the search topic. 

As discussions started to happen, top influentials began to participate, which impacted both the reach and the level of influence. As the event progressed, it was obvious the level of influence increased with some heavy hitters driving the discussion. At the peak, the number of followers quadrupled with nearly 8 million people following on the 23rd and the level of influence more than doubled.


Black = Frequency
Blue = Reach
Purple = Level of Influence

 CGI Word Cloud

For those of you who like visuals, check out our world cloud below. The cloud represents the top keywords associated with tweets around CGI*.  As trends rise in the Twittersphere, conversation frequency shifts upward, creating a larger impact on the overall word cloud. As seen below, “global”, “clinton”, “cgi2010”, “initiative” and “ashoka” were hot topics of discussion at CGI.

*Twitter conversations tracked from September 15-23, 2010

Stay tuned tomorrow as we dig into the Top 10 influentials from CGI.


Seema Bhende
Waggener Edstrom Worldwide