Twitter Worth $3.7 Billion?; Yahoo's Christmas Massacre; IBM's Trivia Bot: The Week in Social Buzz

The Ad Age/OneRiot Brand Buzz Chart, Dec. 9-16

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In putting together this chart -- a collaboration between Advertising Age and real-time buzz tracker OneRiot -- each week, it's usually easy to figure out what graphic to stick in "The Spin" column, which is meant to convey the tone of prevailing news coverage. In today's installment, for instance, BP, under fresh legal siege, gets a red "frowny" emoticon, while Twitter gets a green "smiley" emoticon on the heels of a new round of financing which gives it a rather astonishing $3.7 billion valuation (on paper).

But all the chatter about, and media coverage of, CNN's Larry King -- his farewell show, after 25 years, is tonight -- doesn't quite definitively tip into positive or negative territory. Even the most glowing appreciations of the iconic broadcaster seem invariably tinged with qualifiers (e.g., he was the ultimate softball interviewer; he was sometimes hilariously clueless about his guests). And the general spin about CNN at this moment is, well, apprehensive. (Nobody seems to know if King's replacement, British journalist and television personality Piers Morgan, will lift the news network's fortunes.) Actually, make that dubious -- as in this bit of coverage from the Los Angeles Times: "On eve of Larry King exit, CNN tries to paint happy face on record low ratings ."

The Story The Spin Key Source
1 Facebook Harvard Dropout Lands Time Magazine Cover :) Bloomberg BusinessWeek: Facebook Founder Zuckerberg Named Time Person of Year
2 BP U.S. Government Sues to Make BP "Liable Without Limitation" for Gulf Oil Spill :( NPR: Justice Department Sues BP, Others Over Gulf Spill
3 CNN Talk King Cedes His Throne at CNN :-| NYT: Larry King Prepares to Sign Off, and Everybody's Talking
4 IBM Robot Built by IBM to Take on TV Trivia Champs :) Examiner.com: IBM machine to Play Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in a Game of 'Jeopardy!'
5 Yahoo Yahoo Trims 4% of Staff; 600 Lose Their Jobs :( AP via ABC News: Yahoo Layoffs Cast Holiday Pall
6 Gawker Blog Network Gawker Media Attacked by Hackers :( NPR: Gawker.com Says Its User Database Was Compromised
7 Twitter Twitter Now Worth $3.7 Billion (On Paper) :) AllThingsD: Twitter Raises $200 Million

ABOUT THIS CHART: OneRiot has created a proprietary Trending Topic Engine that surfaces stories trending right now across Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and Digg. Advertising Age parses brand-related data collected by OneRiot over a one-week period, assigns a "spin" to each story based on the nature of the prevailing coverage, and selects a "key source" from among the news outlets whose links are being shared most widely on the social web. For more about the OneRiot advertising network, which helps brands and marketers reach an influential audience on the realtime social web, click here.

Questions about this chart? Please e-mail Simon Dumenco (@simondumenco on Twitter).

For more stats, data, research and analytics about marketing, advertising and consumer trends, please visit the Ad Age Stat blog (@AdAgeStat on Twitter).

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