This week in my Social Media Practices class, I learned a how to utilize Hootsuite. Hootsuite is an application allowing for analyzing social media trends in real time. I have been looking for an opportunity to exercise the application, and I was finally provided with an opportunity yesterday.

Ubisoft will be releasing a new video game title called “The Division” next month. As of yesterday, Ubisoft opened a beta for the game. This allows anyone with a console to try the game before it comes out in March.

I was skeptical about trying the beta for myself, so I took to Hootsuite to see what people were saying about the game. I searched several terms, including “#TheDivision,” and “#TheDivisionBeta.” I was surprised to see a great deal of complaints already appearing on day one.

“This game is trash,” said one tweet. “Ubisoft should be ashamed,” said another. I was bummed, to say the least. I had been excited to try the beta, but I no longer saw a point based on the data provided by Hootsuite.

I downloaded the game nonetheless, expecting little. Once I fired up the beta, however, I was pleasantly surprised. The game did not, in fact, suck. I thoroughly enjoyed bouncing between cover, firing my digital gun at any baddie coming my way. I played the beta for several hours before putting my controller down.

Then, it hit me: my social media analysis had failed. Hootsuite had given me the impression that the game would be terrible. Instead, however, I found myself playing the game for some time with no complaints.

My experience taught me to take some data with a grain of salt. Additionally, digging further through hashtags or on other social networks might have provided different results. Nonetheless, I feel it necessary to share this lesson. Sometimes we must formulate our own thoughts and opinions, regardless of what people say online.

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