Twitter launches interactive map to track candidates' tweets
Map shows what topics states care the most about, what tweets get most engagement
Computerworld - Twitter launched an interactive map to shine a spotlight on which of the presidential candidates' tweets gain the most traction in different areas of the country.
As election day nears, President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, are tweeting about a wide variety of issues - job creation, women's health and foreign policy. A big question, though, is what tweets, and what topics, are catching people's attention.
Twitter is offering voters, and the campaigns, a look at what issues are the most important to voters with a new interactive map.
"Prominent issues in this year's campaign range from Pell Grants for students to Medicare for the elderly, from coal production to clean energy," wrote Miguel Rios, a member of Twitter's analytics team. "Of course, the salience of these issues varies greatly by state.... We've built a visualization that illustrates people's reaction to and engagement by state to Tweets from @MittRomney and @BarackObama.
Twitter is running what it has dubbed a Political Index that measures how hot or cold user's sentiments are running on the two candidates based on the tweets being posted about them.
The new interactive map, which went live late this week, is focused on how people - state by state - engage with the candidates' tweets.
Rios explained that individual tweets are represented on the map by a bar. The more engagement, such as retweets and comments, for a particular tweet, the longer the bar is. Clicking on the bar shows the user state-by-state engagement level.
Users also can search for specific terms to see tweets from @BarackObama and @MittRomney about specific campaign topics, added Rios. For instance, type in the word "Medicare" and the map will show which states have engaged the most with tweets about this topic.
Click on a particular state and you get the most relevant tweet topics for that state. For swing state Florida, for example, the most relevant topics are terrorism, foreign affairs and retirement. For Ohio, it's gay rights, taxes and education.
The micro-blogging site has been a critical tool in watching citizens' reactions to the candidates and the topics they bring up.
During the presidential debates, it was easy to spot which topics touched off a firestorm of tweets. For example, during the second presidential debate last month, Twitter's site actually staggered for several minutes at a time after the candidates dealt with issues including China, immigration and women's health care.
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'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
- As its IPO looms, Twitter faces investor grilling
- Twitter experiments with 'Event Parrot' -- a news delivery service
Read more about Social Media in Computerworld's Social Media Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The Business of Social Business Social business represents a significant transformational opportunity for organizations. Read this whitepaper to learn more.
- Is Your Big Data Solution Production-Ready? Read "Is Your Big Data Solution Production-Ready?" now, and discover best practices and actionable steps to implementing a production-ready big data solution.
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Streamline Data Protection with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) has been an industry-standard data protection solution for two decades. But, where most competitors focus exclusively on Backup...
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well... All Social Media White Papers | Webcasts