Our latest data viz takes a look at social media chat surrounding the London 2012 Paralympics. The Paralympics have proven to be a huge success so far and continue to generate much excitement.

The 10,000 extra tickets put on sale each day for the games are selling within minutes of being made available and the jubilant feelings inspired by the Olympic Games last month have continued as the paralympic athletes put on some inspiring performances.

At the time of writing, ParalympicsGB are currently second to China in the medal table, with 16 golds, seven of which were won yesterday alongside a further eight silvers and three bronze. The team have been particularly successful in swimming and cycling, with a total of 15 medals won so far in each.

Team USA are also doing well, with 33 medals in total, including nine gold medals – seven of which are in swimming, including an incredible performance from Mallory Weggemann, who set a new Paralympic record in the 50 metre freestyle despite her last minute reclassification as an S8 athlete (she had previously qualified as S7).

Huge television viewing figures have prompted the UK’s Channel 4 to clear their schedule to allow for more coverage on its mainstream channels. The excitement is spilling over onto social media too, with the Paralympics being discussed across the social networks and news sites.

Following our Olympic Buzz Board last month and to get involved in the excitement, we’ve put together our Paralympics ‘High Flyers’ data viz to celebrate, and explore, the social media conversation surrounding the events.

The boards use our data gathered from the web and relay back what is being said in all the tweets, statuses, posts, blogs and articles about the Paralympics each day. The different boards explore which tweeters are entering the conversation, who the most influential of them are, the top sites for blogging, posting and discussing the Paralympics, plus a look at the links being shared most. We’ve even calculated the most popular hashtags and emoticons people are using to express reactions to the events as they unfold.

Currently, comedian Jimmy Carr is the most influential tweeter, and the top emoticons used show that even Pistorious’ recent outburst has not affected the good feeling.

Take a look at the boards here – labs.brandwatch.com/highflyers and let us know what you think – leave a comment below or tweets us @brandwatch.

Plus, if you want to learn more about turning social data into fun visual representations like this, get involved with the Digital Sizzle hackathon event, where you will have the opportunity to meet some of our lovely Brandwatch staff. Find out more here – www.thedigitalsizzle.com

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