Introducing the WashPo Mention Machine

While I have, at times, disparaged the extent to which Twitter can be used for information gathering, it would also be foolish to argue that there is absolutely nothing of value to be gained from mining the medium for political data. In short, just because I don't think an accurate poll could be created using Twitter data (yet) doesn't mean interested parties can't find anything of value on the platform. I came across something recently which fits into this category on the Washington Post's website.

The 'mention machine' allows users to track who is trending, what each campaign is tweeting about, and how many mentions each candidate has had over three specific time periods. As more and more opinions are expressed in 104 characters, it will become increasingly valuable to keep tabs on the Twittersphere. Whether or not this means Twitter opinion polling can be valuable is (and will remain) up for debate...

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