Friday, August 10, 2012


Twitter has teamed up with Republican and Democratic polling firms, as well as another company called Topsy, to create a new tool called the Twindex. It offers a new way to gauge the political leanings of likely voters. Bob speaks with Adam Sharp, Twitter's manager for government and politics.


Adam Sharp

Hosted by:

Bob Garfield

Comments [5]

Charlie McHenry from Oregon

Calm down. This article is not about the coolness or use of Facebook or Twitter, it's about a new analytic tool that may be valuable (and I will certainly welcome) in profiling and influencing voters in a micro-targeting scenario. Please don't rant about how YOU are *not* going to tweet or consult Facebook during this cycle, as that's not the point and only displays your limited understanding of the subject material. We're finally moving communications from the gut-driven, instinctual model to real, data-driven science. The more tools we have in that regard, the better.

Aug. 21 2012 04:13 PM
Jeff Marcus

Can you explain to me this fascination with Twitter as some way of garnering information about the American public? The latest data from the Pew Internet & American Life project shows that “15% of online adults in the U.S. now say that they have used Twitter in the past and 8% told Pew that they do so on a typical day”. Using some very simple math, this population seems statistically insignificant and skewed. Online internet users are 239 million or 77% of the US population. In the 2010 Census, 17.5% of the population was between the age of 5 and 17. If we assume that no one under the age of 5 uses the internet then the online ADULT population is probably 82.5% of 77% of the US population or 63.5%. THE ONLINE ADULT DAILY USERS OF TWITTER ARE THEREFORE ONLY 5% OF THE POPULATION OR 8% OF THE ON LINE ADULT POPULATION. Using the Pew’s statistics, it is possible to also see some characteristics about the Twitter users – THE LARGEST NUMBER OF USERS HAVE NO HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA, HAVE NOT ATTENDED COLLEGE, AND MAKE LESS THAN $50K PER YEAR. So as I try to understand why people on your program use Twitter as a means of discerning opinion or trend, I see that 5% of the population is being considered, that most of these people do not have advanced education and are the lowest income earners. WHY IS THIS SAMPLE DATA AN IMPORTANT WINDOW INTO THE NORMAL OR IMPORTANT AMERICAN OPINION?

Aug. 13 2012 02:54 PM
Dianne from San Diego

I'm apparently not the only one with trust issues: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/12/sunday-review/bruce-schneier-an-avatar-of-digital-distrust.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120812

Aug. 12 2012 11:35 AM
FAC from South Central Texas

perhaps those "pollsters" should take into account that they're reflecting a smaller more technical crowd...I refuse to tweet, have no interest in it. I've never been asked to answer any poll. I use ad-blockers on facebook and the rest of the internet...I don't have a 'smart'phone. no longer watch tv, since HDTV went into effect my antenna isn't always effective.
The use of twitter to poll is only of use for giving media fodder for their inaccurate musings of "the political leanings of likely voters" I don't believe or follow ANY poll maker...prefer to read what the candidates say vs what they've actually done vs what they've said they'll do.....so Twitter (& for your media types) can poll all you want, I don't and won't listen to anything you have to say.

Aug. 12 2012 10:30 AM
Diann from San Diego

I know you are all about selling Google, Twitter, and Facebook to the masses, but I have a news flash. I will vote but I will not use Twitter. I do not use Facebook. I won't even answer pollster's questions. Why? Because the spam and marketing on the Internet has taught me to trust no one, has given me the message that my information is being sold without my permission and that the only choice I have left is to withdraw from participating in the social media swamp. I may be the only one left with a suspicious mind, but blame that on your adored social media and the spamming email universe, and the thieves who have stolen peace of mind. Doesn't bother you, obviously. Yes, I know I can still be tracked but I click on no advertisements, I open no attachments, and I send all spam marketing directly to trash. It may be little enough but it is all I can do until I unplug my computer for the last time (oh, yeah, no SmartPhone for me...I don't want Starbucks and their greedy friends identifying me from my pocket).

Aug. 11 2012 10:05 PM

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