Twitter Introduces New Political Index

by InvestorPlace Staff | August 3, 2012 10:15 am

[1]Looking for a new way to track the political fortunes of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama? Twitter has you covered.

The social media site has introduced a new political index[2], called the Twindex[3]. Twindex monitors hundreds of millions of Twitter messages for opinions and views about both presidential candidates, breaks them up depending on whether they pertain to Obama or Romney, and then gives each candidate an overall rating.

Twitter’s goal isn’t to replace traditional polling, but to provide a more real-time view of how people view each candidate.

This isn’t their first attempt at corralling data for an election. In 2008, Twitter built a web site that collected all tweets sent about the candidates.

In 2012, though, Twitter has gotten more sophisticated, working with real-time search company Topsy and polling firms The Mellman Group and North Star Opinion Research. Topsy uses semantic analysis software to parse messages about candidates and determine if they are positive or negative about a candidate, using a database of words and information about confusing colloquialisms to make sure they correctly analyze a message.

The site will be updated once a day, at 8 p.m. Eastern time, to reflect the last 24 hours of messages.

— Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPlace Money & Politics Editor

The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.

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