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A Word Analysis of the Steve Job Tributes

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A Word Analysis of the Steve Job Tributes
[ Technology]

Once the announcement of the death of Steve Jobs, the tributes came fast and furious. In fact, there were almost too many Steve Jobs tributes to keep up with. From Apple reprinting the words from fans on their homepage, to post it note murals, there’s no forgetting the man who brought Apple from a niche company used by the creative crowd to the most powerful brand name in the world.

This much is common knowledge. However, what do you find if you analyze the text of a cross section of the tributes Apple was posting at their site? Thanks to the efforts of Neil Kodner, we have an idea.

In order to conduct his analysis, Kodner downloaded over ten thousand tribute messages posted at Apple.com and conducted a word analysis on them. His findings, while revealing, are about what you’d expect. To say Jobs fans enjoy connecting the word “great” to Jobs’ accomplishments is something of an understatement. Here’s a further look at Kodner’s findings, starting with adjectives:

1. (‘great’, 1961)
2. (‘steve’, 1808)
3. (‘many’, 1459)
4. (‘first’, 917)
5. (‘sad’, 862)
6. (‘better’, 857)
7. (‘such’, 727)
8. (‘best’, 721)
9. (‘visionary’, 645)
10. (‘new’, 579)
11. (‘more’, 556)
12. (‘true’, 538)
13. (‘most’, 476)
14. (‘creative’, 471)
15. (‘apple’, 435)
16. (‘other’, 427)
17. (‘same’, 415)
18. (‘good’, 412)
19. (‘greatest’, 376)
20. (‘wonderful’, 373)
21. (‘sorry’, 362)
22. (‘old’, 325)
23. (‘brilliant’, 283)
24. (‘able’, 281)
25. (‘incredible’, 267)
26. (‘big’, 260)

While I can’t help but wonder why Kodner didn’t exclude the words like “steve,” “other,” and “such” from his analysis query — “steve” is not an adjective — the findings are still interesting; although, it’s surprising the word “visionary” didn’t get more play. Kodner didn’t stop there, either. He also analyzed which Apple products were mentioned the most in these tributes. Surprisingly, “iPhone” was not the most mentioned product, even though it’s undoubtedly Apple’s most popular:

LaserWriter – 1
iMovie – 3
OSX – 9
iBook – 22
PowerBook – 22
Lisa – 24
Apple TV – 31
Newton – 33
iTunes – 52
Macintosh – 163
iMac – 235
MacBook – 366
Apple II Family – 481
iPad – 574
iPod – 575
iPhone – 875
Mac – 1315

In case you aren’t aware, Lisa is one of Apple’s computers from the 1980s. Kodner also analyzed which historical figures were mentioned in these Jobs tributes:

Ford – 189
Edison – 110
Einstein – 70
DaVinci – 15
Bill Gates – 8

Is anyone surprised by the Henry Ford comparisons? I guess I expected Edison to be at the top.

For additional information about how the various analyses were conducted, check out Konder’s post discussing the process.

H/t to Floating Data for pointing this out.

A Word Analysis of the Steve Job Tributes
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