Justin Bieber out-tweeted by French World Cup drama

An exclusive analysis by Kosmix suggests that only a controversial mess like the French team can attract more tweets than boy singer Justin Bieber.

Like you, I heard rumors that the World Cup had sent the Internet into a record paroxysm of activity.

However, Tuesday, I tried to perform an experiment to see if Twitter motion reflected that of the Web at large.

So I asked the vast and swift brains at Kosmix, who have created tweetbeat.com/worldcup to have at least 11 fingers on the soccering pulse of the Twittering world, to perform an exclusive analysis and tell me just how Tuesday morning's games were being reflected on Twitter.

Tuesday morning's games were important, because their results would lead to the first elimination of teams. So you might have imagined that fans of Mexico, Uruguay, South Africa, and France would have been twitching at the fingers to communicate their thoughts and feelings to the outside world.

The results were something of an eye-opener and a heart-sinker. At least for anyone with an even greater love for the beautiful game than for Twitter.

As Tuesday morning's games tore at nerves like a spouse you should never have married, the Twitter world didn't necessarily turn all of its attentions to soccer.

According to Kosmix, Uruguay, which finished its group in an unlikely first place, deserved a mere 12,420 tweets. Mexico, which has charmed with its speedy, offensive soccer achieved a mere 15,547. Even host nation South Africa, which was facing a chaotic French team that had sent one star player home and had demoted its captain to oblivion, only got 18,468 tweets.

And then there were the French.

You might have missed the fact that the team refused to train, that the star player who was sent home reportedly made several extremely unpleasant suggestions to his coach, and that the French president had reportedly send his sports minister to South Africa to tell the team they had disgraced the country.

Her words, according to Yahoo Sports, made the French players weep.

However, they didn't prevent the slightly loopy French coach, Raymond Domenech, from refusing to shake hands with his opposite number from South Africa, when the French debacle was complete. (I have embedded the footage as it is very beautiful.)

So, for all of you wondering just what motivates tweeters, please let me reveal that Kosmix declared that 33,770 tweets were sent during the games specifically about the French.

And now for some perspective, despite these events of world importance, events that might make or break nations and governments, 23,028 people, in Kosmix' analysis, tweeted in the same Tuesday morning period of less than two hours about Justin Bieber.

One can only conclude that the twitterati respond to soap opera, to drama, to the fodder that is tabloid, rather than to any sort of pure sporting legend. It is a sobering analysis for those who look to microblogging as the ultimate apogee of the world coming together as one in a new cultural renaissance.

Disclosure--and shameless plug: I am blogging about the World Cup for CBSNews.com. Please come over and say hello. For Americans, I have already posted a special World Cup guide to help you gain enthusiasm for the coming weeks of uncontrolled world joy.

 

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