Feeds

Twitter launches vox populi index for US presidential race

Measuring the twittering classes

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Twitter has launched a new website that will announce daily measurements of how Twitter users feel about US presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, calling it "a new barometer for the election."

The Twitter Political Index, which kicked off on Wednesday, scours the micro-blogging firm's databases for any posts mentioning either candidate and evaluates their contents using proprietary "social sentiment analysis" software from social analytics outfit Topsy.

The result is a "positivity score" for each post from 1 to 100, where the higher the score, the more positive the post is. The software then computes the average positivity score for each candidate.

The final score is shown relative to the average positivity level of all Twitter posts, so a score of 60 means posts about that candidate are on average 60 per cent more positive than the background chatter.

The scores will be updated each day at 8pm EST, along with a graph showing historical data.

Adam Sharp, Twitter's head of government, news and social innovation, says the "Twindex" is meant to supplement, rather than replace, traditional polling methods.

"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 wrote in a blog post announcing the index.

Traditional or not, as your Reg hack writes these words, both candidates have pretty dismal showings. Barack Obama scores 34, down 4 since yesterday, and although Mitt Romney has crept up 2 points, his total score is a mere 25.

As such, it may be premature for the candidates' campaigns to start quoting the figures just yet. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

Free virtual appliance for wire data analytics
The ExtraHop Discovery Edition is a free virtual appliance will help you to discover the performance of your applications across the network, web, VDI, database, and storage tiers.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.