A couple of weeks ago Team Armadillo released a new side project, AlbertaTweets.ca, to an incredibly positive reception. Born out of our interests as political junkies and data nerds, this new project is an exciting step in a new direction for the team.
As avid data and political junkies, we had been contemplating doing a project which would involve twitter data and some sort of visual data analysis. Over the past two years, we’ve been attending a variety of conferences which have delved into the realm of web data and the political spectrum. Then as rumors of a provincial election started to surface, it seamed like the perfect timing. Hence the birth of AlbertaTweets.ca.
As you can see by the about page, we plan on releasing a large set of infographics during the election that shows a variety of different information. We want to highlight online conversation trends and find out who is making the most noise. To make this happen, we’ve hand-crafted an online database which is capturing tweets using the specific hash tags and organizing them into clusters based on political group connections, topics and most retweets. We’ve also been tracking the online growth of the leaders and parties by tracking their online official party accounts.
Many people might wonder why we’re putting this much work into a project which is interesting, but may seam pointless. While from an outsiders perspective this many seam true, it’s been shown in various US political campaigns, that while Twitter and Facebook activity don’t necessarily win elections for candidates the online conversation is a great indicator of where the overall conversation of an election is headed. Many American based political institutes have started leveraging Twitter and Facebook conversational data to understand what the hottest topics are going to be during the election. And we think it’s about time that Canada (and to a greater extent Alberta) had a similar analysis and a set of tools.
Since launching AlbertaTweets.ca, we’ve already received some incredibly positive feedback. Not only from the online political community in Alberta, but also from local media with features in OpenFile Calgary and CBC Edmonton. We are incredibly excited for this new project and all the challenges it will bring. For Team Armadillo, AlbertaTweets.ca is a way to explore a new opportunity and to improve on our already growing skill set.
If you’d like to talk about AlbertaTweets.ca, web data or data visualization, contact us at email@example.com.