But in a more socially engaged audience in 2012, voicing their Oscars fave through their social networking accounts had become a way to determine “The People’s Oscar” for many.
In the run-up to the 84th Academy Awards last February 26, inquisitive minds from University of Southern California Annenberg Innovation Lab, tech giant IBM and the US paper Los Angeles Times poured their energies together to measure how people are feeling about their bets in the Oscars.
Through the project called the “senti-meter” powered by analytics and natural language recognition technologies from IBM, audiences the world over are given a comprehensive mood spectrum about the Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Picture nominees in this year’s Oscars.
In an infographic published at the LA Times website, it can be gleaned that in December, the last installment of the Harry Potter series and the first film outing for the Millennium Series–The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo–garnered the most talk from Twitter users.
But by the time that the Golden Globe Awards were given in the middle of January, critic favorites such as The Help, The Artist and veteran actress Meryl Streep were among the most talked about on the social network.
Two days before the Oscar awards night, chatter about the eventual winners in the three categories–The Artist, Meryl Streep and Jean Dujardin — were also among the most talked about, suggesting that sentiments of people on Twitter could indeed be a good measure of acclaim.
“This project is about identifying ‘The People’s Oscar,’ which means moving beyond pundits’ opinions of who the winners may be, to understanding who real moviegoers want to see receive the highest accolades of the industry,” said Professor Jonathan Taplin, Director of the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab.
“We want to illustrate how new technologies can capture valuable information and opinions derived from the voices of influential movie fans,” Taplin added.
The partnership between the USC innovation lab and IBM is said to be an ongoing collaboration “to explore how technology can be used … to better understand, respond, and predict public sentiment.”
In the case of the Oscar race, innovative analytics and language software from IBM that distinguishes nuance and sarcasm was used in order to pinpoint relevant opinions of the nominated films, actors and actresses and show noteworthy trends.
“These powerful analytic technologies have so much potential and can greatly impact the business especially in a very active social media market like the Philippines,” said Victor Silvino, country manager for software group at IBM Philippines.
The “senti-meter” was just one aspect of what is now dubbed as a social media-powered Oscars awards show, which was characterized by the efforts of the organizers to be more inclusive through social media.
In fact, a number of occurrences during the show itself–such as the provocative leg exposure of Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Lopez’s accidental nip-slip–proved to be such social media hits that they became instant memes over the Internet.
“As social media becomes increasingly intertwined with our television viewing experience, Americans also may be tuning in to such live events to make sure they don’t miss the latest Internet meme,” said a report by the Washington Post.
“Miss [just] one minute and already, from a pop cultural perspective, you’re at least 10 steps behind,” it added.