The UK Election Social Media Dashboard: What I learned

Estimated reading time: 1.5 minutes

So the dust is still settling – hasn’t actually settled yet because we have a hung parliament so all the politicians will be running around with their knees bent, flapping their arms and clucking and pecking at each other relentlessly until one of them, with a gigantic squawk, lays a huge golden egg and all the others look on in amazement then fall over, stunned, with their legs in the air – and I’m shortly going to retire the UK Election Social Media Dashboard. Yes, it’s going to be released into a fresh pasture where it can gambol about in the sunshine, eat grass and, with a shudder of its loins, remember fillies of days gone by. Or maybe led into a dirty shed, shot through the forehead with a metal bolt and turned into 10,000 tins of dogmeat.

Either way, it’s going to disappear soon because it won’t be needed much longer. But I thought it might be worth sharing – with my three readers – what I found out along the way:

  • Google Insights doesn’t allow more than two queries when going through Netvibes, otherwise you get an error result saying URL too long.
  • There is only one dynamic blog charting solution in town, and it’s not Technorati Charts any more.
  • The Tweetclouds widget doesn’t work when you click the ‘Get widget’ link.
  • You can’t have analytics in Netvibes.
  • You can only have certain pre-set widths for charts.
  • You can’t obtain sentiment by RSS.

So, you might ask, how is it that I have Google Insights, dynamic blog charts, tweetcloud widgets, analytics (believe me, I have analytics), varying chart sizes and sentiment on the dashboard? Ah, well, that would be giving you my secret sauce.

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2 thoughts on “The UK Election Social Media Dashboard: What I learned

  1. Yes, but what of the effectiveness of the dashboard? Was it accurate at predicting the actual election outcome?

    From reading your past couple entries it sounds like you are on to something, looking to build something big. We should chat.

  2. It wasn’t accurate at predicting the outcome, no – because no one really knew what it would be!

    Also, I wouldn’t say a dashboard *should* provide indications of the future. The dashboard should just show what is going on now, and it’s up to professional communicators to take that information and give their view of how to react to it or influence events.

    But I do think there’s mileage in someone, somewhere, starting to apply indicators taken from financial charting, such as golden crosses, moving averages etc. In fact, it would be fascinating to do this for comms alongside financial performance, so you can start to see how one affected the other.

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