Feeds

Twitter launches vox populi index for US presidential race

Measuring the twittering classes

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
True fact: 1 in 4 Brits are now TERRORISTS
YouGov poll reveals terrible truth about the enemy within
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
NBN Co claims 96 mbps download speeds for FTTN trial
Umina trial also delivers 30 mbps uploads, but exact rig used not revealed
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?