Courtesy of my Mom, this NY Times article is a great read. Highlighting the recent advances in data mining for political campaigns, it touches on the role of social media as an additional data point. Here’s an excerpt.
During the last several election cycles, microtargeting has become a critical tool of politics. Campaigns use voting history as well as demographic and consumer data to determine who is likely to vote, and for whom, and direct customized advertising messages and fund-raising appeals to those specific voters.
Until now, most microtargeting was based on backward-looking data — the car someone bought or the magazines they subscribed to…but as more people communicate online, particularly via social media, the Web has become an alluring source of up-to-the-moment insights.
Adding social media to the mix could be huge, but normal data mining should suffice. That is, the fact that I am a frequent reader of the Huffington Post and the Daily Beast already proves that I’m a liberal. You don’t need to check my Twitter feed to reach the same conclusion.
But then again, I’m not an expert on the matter, so please read the article and let me know what you think!