It's election year in Norway, and the race for votes has started. I am a very bad watcher of politician discussions, and I much prefer to listen to them while I do something else. Looking at people talking never stimulated Me sufficiently. Perhaps I should take up knitting again, to stay awake.
However, there are some interesting websites out there, doing analysis. One such is Stortingsvalget 2009, a website that presents the online buzz before the election. They look at weblogs, at Twitter, and at the general online existence of certain words, and come up with graphs, some of which are beautifully presented. Take a look at this model of Twitter messages, for instance:
I am not entirely certain if their method of selection is quite suited for Norwegian weblogs and online discussions though. If there is a weakness to the system, my guess is that will be it. They rely heavily on technology developed by a Norwegian firm, Integrasco, which is promising, but at the same time they pull their weblog network analysis out of Technorati.
I am not quite certain how well Technorati works for Norwegian weblogs, many of which sail below the radar of popular search engines as they link in networks which may or may not have been captured by the web crawlers. Norwegian blog portals are for instance Norske Blogger, Bloggurat and blogg.no. Blogg.no, which is a very active blogg site linking to fashion blogs and young girl blogs, has very few hits at Technorati, compared to their activity level.
Now, Stortingsvalget 2009 may be compensating for the linguistic and cultural challenges, I don't know their methods that well. What it does is to demonstrate in a very interesting manner how it's possible to harvest and represent information from already existing online sources in very compelling ways.
And thanks to my colleague Inger Knude Larsen, for this interesting link!