Sunday, 16 August 2009

Measuring Real Time Public Opinion With Twitter

The New York Times has an interesting article about two statisticians at the University of Vermont who hope to harness the messages flowing through Twitter to read public opinion and sentiment in real time. They feel that tracking and analyzing public Web writings could provide better results than some surveys or polls because the answers tend to be unfiltered and more genuine, allowing them to analyze reactions and emotional responses to current events by the hour. In addition, since relationships and conversations are so intrinsic to how people communicate on Twitter, the researchers hope that observing how one user’s mood is affected by another might shed some light on crowd behavior and emotional contagion.

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