…and then the world

“where nothing we’ve actually seen has been mapped or outlined…”

Spread and measurement

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A few cool tools and projects looking at the spread of memes and discussion across blogs, and also a barometer of what is being linked to by different sides of, and across, the ideological divide between political blogs. [Yes, I’m a bit behind with this…]

First, via Data Mining and Linkfluence, the team at Presidential Watch 08 (run by Linkfluence and mentioned previously) have released videos and data showing the spread of John McCain’s celebrity ad across the blogosphere, and also the response video from Paris Hilton (and yes, I may have doomed my blog for eternity with three of the four words before the parentheses). It is fairly close to part of what I’d like to ideally do for my project, that being using the pre-existing map created in June, and overlaying the spread of the memes on the map. The John McCain map is here, and the Paris Hilton map is here.

Second, via Ethan Zuckerman, Shifting the Debate is a site developed by Morningside Analytics that measures “the movement of ideas through social networks”, again focusing on the US political blogosphere (apparently there’s something important happening next week). Their main tool so far is the Political Video Barometer, showing the most popular videos being linked to by conservative and liberal bloggers, be they campaign spots, interviews, viral videos, or even Wassup 2008. Again, it’s something I’d like to feature in my research – one of the people involved in Morningside, John Kelly, also co-authored a paper (with Bruce Etling) on the Persian-language blogosphere earlier this year which, as well as identifying thematic clusters within the network, also categorised groups of sites being linked to (such as international news sites), and saw which groups were linking to what. Ethan Zuckerman’s write-up of the Political Video Barometer is very informative and humorous, while Bruce Etling has also discussed it, so I’d recommend you read those for analysis, but I’ll quote a section of Zuckerman’s post here (and thus get to feature something else I meant to blog a while ago):

What’s the most popular video evenly linked by liberals and conservatives? Turns out we can all agree that remaking eighties music videos by narrating what happens in inexplicably trippy videos is an excellent idea. Yes, we all love the literal version of Take On Me. Perhaps there’s hope for political compromise in the United States after all.


Written by Tim

29 October, 2008 at 3:16 pm

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