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Introducing the New South Wales Election Social Index

Posted In News, Projects - By , and On Friday, March 13th, 2015 With 0 Comments

It’s state election season in Australia: the repercussions from Labor’s upset win in the January 2015 state election in Queensland have barely died down, but the New South Wales election on 28 March is now only weeks away. Once again, we are therefore setting up a live social media index to track election-related activities on Twitter, building on our partnership with the Hypometer team.

The New South Wales Election Social Index (NSWESI) tracks a combination of the key hashtags (#nswpol, #nswvotes, etc.), keywords relating to the parties and politicians, and tweets by and @mentions of candidates across all parties, to the extent that we have been able to identify their Twitter accounts. We’re combining the headline figures from our analysis of this dataset into three live graphs which are embedded below, and which are available for embedding on other sites. The graphs are updated with new data every five minutes.

In addition to the analytics for the various parties, and for the two major parties, this time around we are also adding some experimental sentiment analysis. As is by now well-established, sentiment analysis of individual messages – especially when they are as short as tweets – is very difficult, as standard sentiment solutions are struggling considerably with rhetorical devices like irony and sarcasm. However, in aggregate this analysis may still generate some useful overall patterns – but please take them with a grain of salt for now.


NSWESI: Overall patterns across the parties


NSWESI: Major party contest


NSWESI: Sentiment and trending topics

To embed these graphs on your own site, please use the following code:

<img src=”http://dev.thehypometer.com/images/election-allparty.png” style=”width:600px”> <img src=”http://dev.thehypometer.com/images/election-2party.png” style=”width:600px”> <img src=”http://dev.thehypometer.com/images/election-sentiment.png” style=”width:600px”>

Hypometer is a QUT-based commercial start-up which tracks and ranks social media activity around major topics, events and brands with assistance from qutbluebox, the University’s innovation and knowledge transfer company. For more information on The Hypometer, please contact Katie Prowd (k2.prowd@qut.edu.au). For more information about the principles behind Hypometer technology, see the Telemetrics Project.

About the Author

- Dr Axel Bruns leads the QUT Social Media Research Group. He is an ARC Future Fellow and Professor in the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. Bruns is the author of Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life and Beyond: From Production to Produsage (2008) and Gatewatching: Collaborative Online News Production (2005), and a co-editor of Twitter and Society, A Companion to New Media Dynamics, and Uses of Blogs (2006). He is a Chief Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation. His research Website is at snurb.info, and he tweets as @snurb_dot_info.

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