Happy Election Day: New Tools to Help Us Monitor Historic Conversations

election_2008I am still in awe of how social media and the Internet have changed the electoral process – a process that has remained rather static over the past few elections.

Despite my frustration with the two major parties’ campaigns, I was still inundated with the election itself every time I signed online. With Twitter, facebook, and the blogosphere engrossed in all things Red and Blue, it’s easy to drown in information overload.

Luckily, digital innovation came to the forefront this year and there are several ways you can easily monitor the conversations people are having today about the election and the candidates. Here are a couple that have been brought to my attention that I felt necessary to share:

Tropicana: Fresh Squeezed Tweets


Tropicana’s new site, www.anorangeamerica.com, is a visual representation of the nonstop political discourse that is taking place on Twitter. Basically, the site continuously checks for tweets mentioning “Obama” or “McCain” and analyzes other words that appear with them. Then, it places these words in bubbles on the graph – the bigger the bubble, the higher frequency of use. The more red a bubble is, the more that keyword is associated with McCain; the bluer, more with Obama. It’s a lot more impressive if you check it out for yourself. Kudos to the amazing team at New Media Strategies (where I work) who helped put this together.

WSJ Web Data

The Wall Street Journal has an interactive graphic that shows “real time statistics indicating candidates’ prominence and popularity on blogs and sites such as YouTube and Facebook.”


You can mouse over the bar graphs for more information such as the number of Facebook friends each candidate has or how many times McCain or Obama have been mentioned in blogs. The site also includes a “What It Means” feature that breaks down each social platform and how it influences the candidates’ campaigns and reputations.

Both of these sites provide valuable information, but they also form central locations for aggregated content so we can all stay up-to-date as this election unfolds. I can only imagine what the 2012 election will look like, and every day I am thankful that I can be a part of this social era where voters can easily engage with one another through a myriad of platforms.

I know there are countless more sites like these out there, so what social media measurement tools have you seen pop up this election season that you’ve enjoyed using?

Update: I also dig the Mapmash hosted on Google maps. It shows how each state’s electoral votes can affect the election.


One thought on “Happy Election Day: New Tools to Help Us Monitor Historic Conversations

  1. Great post, Meg! As a communicator and PR professional, I too was fascinated by each presidential campaign’s use of social media. I was not particularly inspired by either candidate for some time, but that changed once I evaluated each side’s strategic use of social media. Right or wrong, I think innovative campaign strategies provide some insight into the type of president each hopeful would become if elected. And I think we could all use some forward-thinking and innovation, don’t you? Thank you for sharing these tools as they provide great information!

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