Saturday, September 01, 2007

Wonkosphere: Your listening post for the 2008 Presidential Election?

Wonkosphere caught my attention a couple of days ago. It is self-described as “...[T]he best place to keep a finger on the pulse of the 2008 Presidential Election. We use patented technology to scour the blogosphere and analyze what is being said, who is saying it, and whether they're ranting or raving. Updated every 4 hours.” This could save me some time.

On the home page, there’s a bar chart showing the “buzz share” for the top 12 Presidential contenders.

The "about" link describes buzz share: "[It] measures the proportion of buzz for each candidate in all blogs for the 24 hours preceding the latest update. Percentages for each candidate are calculated every four hours. To get the value we first analyze each blog post for each candidate, and score the prominence of the candidate's name within the post. We sum these prominence scores across all candidates then express their scores as a percent of the total....The blue line shows buzz share for liberal + independent blogs, and the red line shows buzz share for conservative + independent blogs.”

When I checked the top 12 buzz share a few days ago, Representative Dennis Kucinich’s name appeared as 12th out of 12, and now he’s off the chart.

There’s an exhaustive list of political blogs here, rated liberal or conservative. Three of the blogs I regularly check, Juan Cole’s Informed Comment, Joshua Micah Marshall’s TalkingPointsMemo and Tom Engelhardt’s TomDispatch are included and three are not, Glenn Greenwald’s Unclaimed Territory, Scott Horton’s No Comment, and Steve Clemons’s The Washington Note. There’s a link where readers can suggest additions, deletions, and corrections to the list.

Who’s behind Wonkosphere? Crawdad Technologies, LLC. It acknowledges partial funding for Crawdad’s NLP engine from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. Crawdad's customers include many, many state universities.
Wonkosphere wants ads (see photo above). So far, I’ve seen ads placed by John McCain, Al Franken, and

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