Just this morning, I went to my Google Ad preferences to make some changes and found out something interesting. Based on my Web surfing, Google has determined that I'm a man between the ages of 25 and 34. While accurate in the age range, I am not a dude. A project from Engage DC is using similar analysis of Web activity to determine what kind of voter someone is.
By analyzing Facebook likes and what social media sites a person engages with and how, researchers from Engage DC were able to determine a person's political preference. Turns out, according to the analysis, if you like Tumblr, Spotify and Etsy you’re in the Obama camp. If you’re a fan of Farmville, Amazon or Pinterest, you’re a potential Romney voter. The project even found what sites indicate swing voters, Pandora and Angry Birds.
Another interesting tidbit from this research: users on sites that focus on commerce and personal finance tend to lean toward Romney and are highly engaged politically. Those that veer toward Obama prefer social blogging and humor sites like Tumblr or xckd, but aren’t likely to get too involved in politics.
At first glance, it seems like just a lot of generalizations based on the web social scene. But it turns out strong research went into the planning of the bubble graph above. Patrick Ruffini, president of Engage DC, explained the methods used in a blog posting on the site, “Over the past few months, we’ve crunched countless 'Likes' from thousands of users of Trendsetter, our first-of-its-kind platform that ties together polling, social influence data and consumer preferences. We’ve used it to map the politics of the social web, analyzing the political partisanship of the user bases of various social properties.”
Of course, data doesn’t apply to everyone. So if you like Tumblr, but love Romney and shop on Amazon, but vote for Obama, consider yourself a unique individual who lives on the outside of the social media bubble.
via Washington Post
Credit: Engage DC