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Supporting Opinion | The Predictive Power of the Tweet

All Hail Twitter as Presidential Predictor

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SaneIT
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Data Doctor
Re: Advanced, but not quite there
SaneIT   10/22/2012 8:08:26 AM
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Well I'd agree with younger, probably living in a larger urban or college setting.  The 55+ age group is pretty small, current demographics studies show that twitter tends to have more female users (about 40% male, 60% female).  Some other bullet points that I found interesting.
  • More than one quarter of online African-Americans (28 percent) use Twitter. Thirteen percent use it on a typical day, which is nearly double the overall average.
  • Twenty-six percent of Internet users aged 18-29 use Twitter, which is nearly double the rate for those aged 30-49.
  • Residents of urban areas are significantly more likely to use Twitter than their rural counterparts.

Income doesn't seem to play that big a role, the only numbers I've found for income has the highest % of users falling near the national median income.

Broadway
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Blogger
Re: Advanced, but not quite there
Broadway   10/19/2012 9:21:50 AM
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@SaneIT, by Twitter demographics, what would you say: younger, wealthier, probably living in a larger urban setting or college community, more informed?

SaneIT
User Rank
Data Doctor
Re: Advanced, but not quite there
SaneIT   10/19/2012 8:08:59 AM
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I think mundane depends on who you are.  There are people to take a lot of people who get serious about things that I might call mundane.  I think twitter tracking can be handy if you're looking at how the average twitter user feels about a trending topic.  Where I think it fails for tracking is that you have to keep in mind what your demographics are when it comes to twitter users.

Louis Watson
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Blogger
Re: Advanced, but not quite there
Louis Watson   10/18/2012 7:24:47 PM
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That is a great question and perspective Beth.    And I was really trying to be polite about this issue of tweet analysis, as I know there are many who feel it has some merit.   While there may be some, I really don't think the effort is worth the amount of return.   Just today I have heard two references to tweets on the airways, maybe they were speaking of this a couple a days ago just as fervently and I wasn't as aware of it as I am after considering the Point/Counter  debate.  When I listen just long enough to let in sink in that I just heard some reporter reference some tweet regarding the election  -  I think to myself really ?

Am  I alone here ?  I don't think so but it does underscore your question - why bother at all ?   Though it would not be a focus I would actively champion  - I do think it (Tweet analysis ) has some merit in judging customer sentiment. 

I would be more inclined to believe a tweet (analysis) regarding the relationship of the effectiveness of an tweeted coupon for instance a or  some aspect of customer service - feedback on deals etc.   

And I also think you put it very well Beth.  I  would agree that the "inherent nature of tweets and tweeting" make  any conclusion based on it's analysis  tenuous at best.

BethSchultz
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Blogger
Re: Advanced, but not quite there
BethSchultz   10/18/2012 6:50:27 PM
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Louis, I have to ask, if, like you say, we focus tweet analysis on "more mundane issues," why bother at all? Or, in other words, does the nature of tweets make their analysis pointless?

Louis Watson
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Advanced, but not quite there
Louis Watson   10/18/2012 5:39:09 PM
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Hi Pierre ,   You make a interesting and strong argument for the use of tweets to give some sort of indication of how people really feel about a topic ( the election in this case ).  While I understand tools and methods are improving daily, I am just not convinced that tweets have any reliability.   

I am a part of the tweet universe ( by peer pressure more than anything else ) and I don't pay attention to tweets at all whether they come from the President or not - that is my personal stance which if it seems extreme, imagine the perspectives that most come from when tweeting?  

How many times to do we hear someone apologizing for some hastily made tweet ?   I really think we should focus on more mundane issues when we talk about tweet analysis and leave the serious issues to more tradition means. 

And if we are going to amend the tradition in any way then at least do it with a reliable tool - which I do not think tweets or tweeting ever will become.

BethSchultz
User Rank
Blogger
Advanced, but not quite there
BethSchultz   10/17/2012 5:44:44 PM
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Hi Pierre, you make some compelling arguments here but I'm still pretty iffy on Twitter's value for presidential predictions. I don't think it's used broadly enough or that we have adequate ways of measuring what's being said, by whom, and where. I'll hold out for that changing for 2016 run.

BethSchultz
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Twitter
BethSchultz   10/17/2012 5:42:54 PM
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Sadly, Alexis, that's so true. Same goes for what color ties these guys wear!

Ariella
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Blogger
Re: Twitter
Ariella   10/17/2012 3:08:21 PM
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@webmetricsguru, @Alexis Yes, they do look like fireworks, especially because they wisely chose a dark background for contrast with the colors. How you package things does make  a difference in getting people's attention, and that certainly applies to data analytics. Show people a stream of numbers, and their eyes glaze over, but if you show them dramatic looking clusters, they find it more attractive. 

Ariella
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Twitter
Ariella   10/17/2012 3:06:05 PM
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@Pierre that does stand to reason. Certainly, it is how many social connections work -- people often associate with like-minded inviduals. My online connnections happen to include supporters on both sides, so I try to avoid political discussions. 

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