Twitter's Political Index uses tweets to gauge presidential race
Site tracks Twitter users' feelings about Obama and Romney
Computerworld - Twitter is looking to take the country's temperature when it comes to the presidential election in November.
The micro-blogging site today launched the Twitter Political Index, a tool to show in real time the popularity of President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney based on the millions of tweets being made about each candidate.
"One glance at the numbers, and it's easy to see why pundits are already calling 2012 'the Twitter election,' " wrote Adam Sharp, head of government, news and social innovation at Twitter. "More Tweets are sent every two days today than had ever been sent prior to Election Day 2008."
The unveiling of the political tool is in line with Twitter executives' expectations about the role the site will play in this year's presidential election in the United States.
In January, Dick Costolo, CEO of the social network, said he fully expected Twitter to play a major role in this election. "Gosh, I really think 2012 is going to be the Twitter election," he said at the time.
The Political Index takes a daily measurement of Twitter users' feelings towards the candidates by analyzing the nearly two million tweets made each week about them.
"For the first time, it's possible to measure conversations that just an election cycle ago were limited to coffee shops, dinner tables and water coolers," wrote Sharp. "Just as new technologies like radar and satellite joined the thermometer and barometer to give forecasters a more complete picture of the weather, so too can the Index join traditional methods like surveys and focus groups to tell a fuller story of political forecasts."
Sharp explained that the index evaluates the sentiment of all the tweets that reference Obama or Romney. For example, he noted that a score of 73 for a candidate shows that Tweets about that candidate are, on average, more positive than 73% of all tweets.
To build the index, Twitter teamed up with the data analysis team at Topsy, an online traffic tracker, as well as polling firms The Mellman Group and North Star Opinion Research.
The Political Index is set to be updated every day after 8 p.m. ET.
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her email address is email@example.com.
- Twitter brings the data back in-house with Gnip buy
- Twitter crashed -- again -- on Tuesday
- Twitter's slipping user growth spooks investors
- Get ready to tweet your questions for Twitter's first earnings call
- Super Bowl sets Twitter record, as Volkswagen launches social war room
- Perspective: Twitter's success opens up IPO pipeline
- Update: Twitter goes public at $45 a share
- With IPO cash influx, Twitter could be bigger threat to Facebook
- Ahead of IPO, Twitter shines up multimedia image
- Twitter kicks off pre-IPO investor roadshow
Read more about Social Media in Computerworld's Social Media Topic Center.
- Silicon Valley's 19 Coolest Places to Work
- Is Windows 8 Development Worth the Trouble?
- 8 Books Every IT Leader Should Read This Year
- 10 Hot Hadoop Startups to Watch
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Infographic: Converged Infrastructure Benefits This Infographic quantifies the savings organizations are realizing from increased deployment speed, higher availability, and lower annual costs.
- CIOs Deliver Productivity Breakthroughs with Intelligent Digital Signage Retailers have long recognized the influence that digital signage provides over a shopper's point-of-purchase decision making process.
- Going Paperless? Here's What You Need to Think About As makers of some of the world's most popular PDF solutions, we often consult with businesses & governmental agencies that have the goal...
- The Big Data Opportunity for HR and Finance If CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, and CHROs want to drive their businesses forward, they will need to quickly recognize the enormous value of big...
- Building Tomorrow's Infrastructure Listen to this podcast to discover how Crider Foods worked with PC Connection to update their IT infrastructure, while maintaining compliance and control.
Enhance Your Virtualization Infrastructure With IBM and Vmware
Date: Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT
Virtualization technology is now expanding beyond the server compute elements to encompass networking and storage...
All Social Media White Papers |
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!