Twitter and the startup Topsy have a new political index aimed at gauging the daily state of the U.S. presidential horserace. Useful? We'll see.
Twitter and social media startup Topsy unveiled this week a new political index aimed at gauging the daily state of the U.S. presidential horserace by analyzing 400 million tweets a day.
<p> "Imagine getting a glimpse into election conversations happening all over the nation every day. Topsy analyzes massive amounts of tweets in real-time to measure those conversations, understand what people are talking about and make sense of it," Duncan Greatwood, Topsy's Chief Executve <a href="http://phys.org/news/2012-08-twitter-political-index-election.html">told AFP</a>. </p><p> Twitter's head of Government, News and Social Innovation, Adam Sharp, also trumpeted the new tool:</p><blockquote> <p class="p1"> Just as technologies like radar and satellite joined the thermometer and barometer to give forecasters a more complete picture of the weather, so too does the index we've partnered with Topsy on stand with traditional methods like surveys and focus groups to paint a more complete picture of the political forecast.</p>\n</blockquote><p> We'll withhold judgement about the service for now, but it raises the obvious questions about social media as myopic echo chambers. Based on a Twitter analysis of, say, <a href="http://www.good.is/post/community-engagement-how-the-internet-ruined-my-perception-of-what-s-popular/">your favorite television show <em>Community</em></a>, one might end up with very skewed perceptions of popularity. </p><p> <em><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/pazca/7165620997/sizes/m/">Image</a> (cc) Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/pazca/">pazca</a></em></p>
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