After hours of feverishly gathering, sorting, poking, and prodding all of our #AskObama data, we’ve finally got our first iteration of the Obama Dashboard!
Our gnomes had to work hard for this information — there’s no magic wand you can wave that tells you programmatically whether a particular tweet is a genuine question or just some promotional spam. It’s even harder to tell when two questions are essentially the same except for some minor rewording, and more difficult still to group together questions on the same general topics, like “jobs” or “Republicans.” With some clever heuristics and manual intervention, however, we’ve succeeded in bringing it all together into the predictions and analysis above.
As we discussed in our previous blog post about this Town Hall, it’s impossible to know how the team will curate the massive amount of questions that people all over Twitter have posed. It’s clear from the numbers above, however, that any honest evaluation of the data requires the President to acknowledge Americans’ concerns about the drug laws in their country. Whether it’s justified or not, people seem to place the blame for a lot of America’s economic woes on them and their heavy-handed enforcement. Regardless of which side of this debate his opinion happens to fall, if Obama doesn’t address this point during tomorrow’s discussion, it will be clear that he’s avoiding the data. By a landslide, this is what people want to hear his plans on.
To keep up with the latest version of this dashboard, as well as @BarackObama’s TwitSprout dashboard and our eventual postmortem of the Town Hall meeting, keep an eye on http://Obama.TwitSprout.com and, as always, send us all the feedback you can come up with!
Adrian at TwitSprout