Above are a couple of charts I just created, on the fly as it were, which track the relative blogosphere buzz for four topics of concern in the upcoming election. Data from both IceRocket and BlogPulse indicate that the economy has overtaken Iraq as a topic of concern, with the buzz lines for the two crossing on or about January 14 of this year. At about the same time, taxes overtook health care.
What does all of this suggest? It is rather contradictory. Typically, discussion of the economy in general favors Democrats, especially with the current housing crisis. However, taxes usually favor the Republicans. We all want lower taxes and that’s what they typically promise. Health care is seen as a Democratic issue; while national security and the war are Republican issues.
One would suspect that increased attention to the economy, at the expense of Iraq, would favor the Democrats. However, increased attention to the economy seems correlated to increased attention to taxes, which would tend to favor the Republicans. Interesting, to say the least.
More interesting for me, is the possibility of using these tools to informally track buzz on particular issues. Part of what has made this more possible and easier for me is finding a Flickr bookmarklet that allows me to send the images charts created by IceRocket and BlogPulse directly to my Flickr account, from which I can blog them. Also, I figured out how to “hack” the URLs to add more search terms over a greater period of time. This opens interesting possibilities.
[Cross posted here.]