Category Archives: methods

I’m reading through the final posts and looking for the one that mentions the uptick in use of social media during the elections. (I should have made a note when I read it.) The post mentioned something about how this election has claimed more attention through social media than any other election. That is true – some of that is purely a numbers game. The number of users of  all types of social media has increased dramatically since the last election, so it is reasonable to assume that the number of users following the election will be higher. The number of tweets on election day is just as much a product of the fact that more people use Twitter, as it is about election coverage. The increase in the percentages of social media users following this election compared to the past elections or events may be a more accurate comparison than just a user count. It’s a bit like comments that there are so many more car/deer crashes than in the past. That is true – but again – part of it is a numbers game. The deer population is higher than it has ever been AND there are more cars on the road, traveling more miles than ever before. Even the probability of hitting a deer goes up. So, we have to be sure we are comparing apples to apples when looking at the numbers.

Advertisements

One of the main requirements for this class was to write a weekly blog. Often we were requested to write a structured post and an open post. I mainly blogged about social media, specifically Twitter. If it was for my open post it would be my opinions on Twitter, my personal tweets or things I’ve learned from Twitter. If it was for my structured post I would blog about studies done involving Twitter. I’ve blogged about studies, infographics, and surprisingly politics. My writing has improved over this semester and it has affected not just my school life but my personal life too.

 

My writing has definitely improved over time and it’s mainly because I became more specific with my writing. I did this by learning how to insert links. In my first blog post “Testing, Testing 123 (Hope I’m doing this right!)” I wrote, “I created my own blog on blogger and wrote whatever came to my mind.” I should have linked to that specific blog in that sentence but I didn’t, I didn’t even think of it. When I began to insert links I just copied and pasted the URL into my post but eventually I learned how to link it to a specific word and have since gone back and fixed all of them. I used to find all of my information on Pinterest, in my blog post “Why Every Digital Humanist Should Own This Book” I wrote, “Then one day, on Pinterest where everything magical happens…” There is not a whole lot wrong with that except that it’s not effective to get all of your information from one source even if the information being contributed is from multiple people. Eventually I learned to search for other sources, and I learned how to work WordPress and I even blogged about things I never thought I would.

I do not like politics it is the last thing I want to talk about. But I surprised myself this year by actually blogging about it a few times. Honestly if it wasn’t for the election I probably wouldn’t have, but it was the first year I could vote and tis the season right? Of course it wouldn’t be a post of mine if it didn’t involve Twitter. My post #election2012 analyzed the connection between Twitter and the election. I noted “Tuesday evening I did not watch T.V I didn’t have to everything I wanted to know was being posted on Twitter. In I only found out Obama won because of Twitter.” Which is all completely true. My mindset was I don’t care about the speeches and the policies, I don’t want to watch CNN I just want to know who wins. With Twitter that was possible. If I was going to blog about the election I was going to blog about the social media side of things. I loved that this election was the most tweeted about subject in the history of Twitter. I loved all the memes that came out of it. I even found a study filled with inforgraphics on how Obama was reelected. The use of social media made this election bearable for me. Being able to write about it showed how much I’ve changed this year.

 

My writing this semester has grown from opinion based to research based. I’m so used to the easy way out, I didn’t mind writing the open posts, especially in the beginning when I was on Pinterest all the time and blogged about whatever DH thing I came across. I went from doing the bare minimum to actually digging for topics to write about. It effected my life beyond school because it made me see Twitter in a new light. For me it was always just a post whatever is on my mind sort of thing. Now I realize that Twitter is useful in many ways. Whether it is documenting trends, finding statistics, or stimulating conversation. I’ve used social media more for classes this year than personal life; I tweet for homework! Whenever people hear that I’m tweeting or using Facebook for school they become skeptical as to whether I’m actually learning or not. My mother definitely does not understand it. What people don’t realize is social media is useful for more things than just socializing. We use it to document life today. I never even thought blogging could be used for school until I came to Stout.

 

I would think that my writing goals for the future would be to get people to understand what digital humanities is and how we can use social media for more than just pleasure. Though, that may ruin it for a lot of people. This course taught me a lot of things including how to write for an audience. I’m pretty sure someone who wasn’t even in this class commented on my blog. I will definitely continue to blog in the future.


Screen shot 2012-11-30 at 9.23.29 AM

Oprah Winfrey, or who ever she has hired to tweet for her, has made a slight error..

“Oprah plugs Surface tablet — from her iPad”

The “Surface” is Microsoft’s new tablet that Oprah has added to her “Favorite Things” list for this 2012 holiday season. She even compared the tablet to a Mercedes! When the extra step was taken of spreading her love of the product to onto twitter,  who ever posted the tweet about the tablet, did so from their iPad.

The end of the article does describe how bloggers are noting that twitter is still in the process of creating an app for users of Windows 8 (the operating system the tablet uses) but the internet is always a critiquing setting.


Well, the election is over and it was an interesting day. After an encounter with law enforcement and clarification on the difference between exit polling and electioneering, I was finally able to start collecting data. The law is very specific in that campaigners must be at least 100 feet from the entrance to the polls. That would have put me across the street in one direction, in the middle of the street in one direction, and at the end of the block in the other direction. But, I was not a campaigner. The police chief insisted my activities fell under that law. The legal department at Edison Research and the Government Accountability Board had to call the election officials to let them know it was legal for me to be there.  This is what the Government Accountability Board has to say about it exit polling:

 

What are the rules regarding exit polls?

Wisconsin’s law regulating the conduct of persons on Election Day is designed to ensure that nothing interferes with the orderly conduct of the election, and that nothing distracts voters from exercising their right to vote at the polls on Election Day.    S. 5.35(5), Wis. Stats.

Persons conducting surveys, circulating petitions or engaging in similar activity may not do so inside the polling place, and may not interfere with the orderly conduct of the election.  Electioneering is prohibited within 100 feet of the entrance to a polling place on public property on election day. S. 12.03(2), Wis. Stats.  The Government Accountability Board staff recommends that surveys and other activities should be conducted outside the 100 ft. area where electioneering is prohibited.

Exit polls are surveys conducted by news organizations and others to determine how electors have voted.  Wisconsin law does not prohibit the conduct of exit polls by a news organization.  The Government Accountability Board and its staff have taken the position that exit polls may not be conducted within the building containing the polling place.  It is recommended that persons conducting exit polls do so outside of the entrance to the building containing the polling place.  Exit pollsters do not have to be positioned outside the 100 ft. electioneering area.  However, persons conducting exit polls must not block the entrance or interfere with the access of voters entering and leaving the polling place.

Most people have no idea where the exit poll information was, so they were pretty excited to have input. Some people ‘looked the other way’ and kept on going. This polling place had two entrances, so I was only able to approach about half of the voters. My sampling rate was to approach every voter. I had to record misses and refusals categorized by gender, 3 age-group breaks, and whether they were black or non-black. The questionnaires are confidential – no name was required and the surveys were folded and dropped into a box. At my polling place, the vote was heavily Democrat. Most of the voters who refused were in the older age group (50+).  Their roster lists about 1050 registered voters, 922 people voted.

There were 3 versions of the questionnaire:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We called in 3 times during the day with the number of voters who had already voted, the counts for Obama and Romney, and the counts for Baldwin and Thompson. We also read the results from a percentage of the surveys. We called in a final vote count at the end of the night. I do want to point out that these surveys were completely voluntary and confidential. Voters were not required to fill them out and answering each question was voluntary.

This is a link to CNN’s take on the exit poll results from Tuesday’s election.

 


Did you post on your Facebook page or tweet after you voted?

 

 

 

 

If you did, then you were part of Crowdwire’s Live Social Media Exit Poll that followed Twitter and Facebook voters. They collected data for a 24 hour period on election day. Some voters chose to share who their vote was cast for. This is what they found:

 Crowdwire notes this about their poll:

This is obviously not a mirror of the voting public, or a reflection of how the public at large is voting today. Rather, it reflects the particular slice of the public who are social-media users. Imagine that a new state has just been added to the union. In terms of population, it’s a big California-sized state, but it has no geographic location. Its residents are famous for having a lot to say about politics and other subjects. Our exit poll is a live dispatch from the state called Social Media where, as the graph shows, the voting is now underway!

Crowdwire compared the top political candidates to the top nearly 600 consumer brands in terms of social media awareness. Just days before the election, this was their Top 10 brand ranking:

 

Crowdwire says this about their research:

The Crowdwire was created to provide fresh insights into the 2012 presidential election and other topics through data-driven analysis of the social-media conversation.