Thursday, July 07, 2005

This Is Not About Politics

Instead, I am going to write about the Internet, Internet tools, and blogging trends.  As far as I know, there are no serious studies yet about the predictive power of blogs.  We do know, however, that commodity-type markets have predictive value.  In these markets, people buy and sell "shares" that represent the probability of some political outcome.  Those markets turn out to be fairly accurate.  I would love to see someone do a similar study on blog posts.  Although people don't exchange money, they do trade on their on-line reputations; that should have some predictive value.

It now is possible to get accurate measures of blogging trends:

Here, we see that the Downing Street Memo is past its peak, although it remains a strong topic.  Impeachment, though, is showing a resurgence.  This is due, primarily, to a Zogby poll that showed something like 42% of Americans would support impeachment if it could be shown that the President lied about the rationale for war.  There are even entire websites devoted to the topic.  The Washington Post even wrote about it, on their "blog."  

The spikes in the occurrence of the word "impeachment" so far can be explained entirely by the fallout from the DSM and the Zogby poll.  I would be interested to see, though, if a drumbeat of impeachment persists beyond those specific precipitants.  If so, we may be able to witness an instance of blog activity predicting a political event.

Categories: statistics, Internet, blogging
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