Blog monitoring the election


Political types are fond of saying that only the one poll really matters—I don't know, maybe I just heard that on a TV show. But an election is a prime opportunity to show off your number-crunching skills. That color-coded map may be the most widely viewed data visualization around. So if your business is analyzing online chatter, and an approaching election is generating lots of it, it's only natural to analyze some of that data to show what you can do.

If you want a peak at some of the capabilities of social media analysis companies, just look at their showcase political buzz analysis:

US presidential election

French presidential election
Italian election
Spanish election
You don't have to launch a special site to weigh in on a campaign, of course. All you need is a blog and something interesting to report:
Election 2008: Buzz vs. Audience
Let's not leave out the web metrics folks. Hitwise and Compete are using audience metrics as an indicator of voter interest. Hitwise is also reporting on popular search terms (typically candidates' names) and political sites beyond the official campaign sites.

All of these special reports from metrics and analysis vendors create an opportunity to compare audience data and online buzz with election results. Any guesses on which will be the better predictor of the outcome? Or will the dartboard win?

Did I miss your campaign coverage? Add it in the comments, and I'll add it to the list.

Update: If it's in the draft folder, someone else must be working on the same topic. Matt Hurst wrote a similar post on tracking political buzz yesterday. We're going to see a lot of blog aggregation this time around.



Hi Nathan,

Thanks for the mention here, and your kind words in the previous post.

I'd note that since 2 are from 2004 and Omgili has not posted since July, it looks like Wonkosphere and PoliticalTrends are the only 2 active sites.

At this point Wonkosphere is tracking 4 times as many blogs. I am not sure how they're determining hot topics, but I can assure you that political bloggers are NOT talking about Palestinian right now, though their data appears to indicate this is hot topic #2.

Here's to a long, contentious, contraversial campaign season!

Looks like the controversy has already started! ;-)

I expected to see more poitical showcase sites show up as we get closer to the US election. In fact, I've already heard today from another company that has sites in the works. Funny how list posts make things come out of the woodwork.

Hallo Nathan,

Thanks for your summary of US Election sites. The US Election 2008 Web Monitor has been launched on December 13th (already included in your list; back in September, the URL still pointed towards our previous Election 2004 project). The site provides a media watch and weekly candidate statistics (attention, sentiment, keywords) based on different samples (news media, blogs, environmental NGOs and Fortune 1000 companies). A six-minute screencast summarizes the system's main functions.

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About Nathan Gilliatt

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  • Voracious learner and explorer. Analyst tracking technologies and markets in intelligence, analytics and social media. Advisor to buyers, sellers and investors. Writing my next book.
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