A Tweet to England

Author: Cheryl Clarke, IBM UK Brand Systems & Advertising

IBM are more than just the provider of match analytics for England Rugby. Yes, we’re probably best known for the IBM TryTracker tool, which fans use to enhance their insight and enjoyment of the game. However, we have a genuine passion for the game, just as the fans in the stands do. To mark England winning the 2017 RBS 6 Nations and their undefeated 18 match run, we set out to pen a poem fit for Champions written by IBM and the fans. But how did we approach such a mammoth task…




This poem has been a collaboration between man and machine; Watson and occasional poet Olly. England fans have had a great deal to feel excited and proud about throughout the 2017 RBS 6 Nations Championships and this is very apparent across social media; there were a plethora of tweets relating to the 6 Nations and England’s performance. In order to find the most emotive tweets we used the Insights for Twitter service to pull back tweets matching a list of hashtags and phrases such as #IREvENG. We then used the Watson Alchemy Language API to assess the sentiment in each message. These were stored in a Cloudant database where we could query for them. Our resident poet was then able to sort through the shortlist of tweets to find those that best captured the drama and emotion of each England game. Insights for Twitter, Alchemy and Cloudant are all Bluemix services.

You may not have expected Watson, Rugby and Poetry to cohabit but the end result is a champion of a poem.

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