Election 2008: How are the pollsters doing?

January 5th, 2008

Not so great.

Here is what Zogby predicted for Iowa on December 30, 2007, four days before the Iowa caucus: Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby Poll: Clinton Leads Dems; GOP Deadlocked

  • Hillary Clinton: 31%
  • Barack Obama: 27%

Needless to say the actual results were slightly off. Now, we all know that polls come with fine print, margins of error, need to be interpreted etc. So while the Zogby poll may not have been “wrong” scientifically, it doesn’t seem to me to have been entirely accurate either.

Be that as it may, yesterday, on January 4, 2008, four days before the New Hampshire primaries, here’s what Zogby sees in the cards: Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby New Hampshire Poll: McCain Leads Romney; Clinton Leads Obama as Edwards Hits 20%

  • Hillary Clinton: 32%
  • Barack Obama: 26%

It will be very interesting to watch how those numbers will change over the next 72 hours. And change they will, read my lips.

Wordie

January 2nd, 2008

I’m on Wordie.

Wordie is for people who love words. Start by making word lists: words you love, words you hate, words on a given topic, whatever. Add citations, comments, and tags. See who else has listed the same words.

For example, here’s my current favorite.

Via: factoryjoe Flickr stream

My 2007 dictionary: The year in words

December 30th, 2007

Straight from the tag cloud: Stuff I added to my dictionary in 2007 (in reverse chronological order).

So many words, so little time…

Trupoli: First look at participation/engagement metrics

December 29th, 2007

Note: Article originally blogged on Flickr on Dec 27, 2007.

Earlier this month, Munich, Germany-based Trupoli ended their closed beta phase and officially launched the site to the public. Trupoli lets you capture, share and evaluate statements by German politicians (federal, state, local) along criteria of credibility, agreement, and importance.

Trupoli: Top politicians (sort by popularity)

Time to take a first look at some basic participation/engagement metrics (as of 2007/12/27):

General

Total # of registered users: unknown (was approx. 1,000 at the time of launch according to the press release)

Total # of politicians (profiles): 3,910
Total # of statements: 2,484

# of politicians with at least one statement: 344 (8.8%)

# of statements per politician: 0.6
# of statements per politician with at least one statement: 7.2

Top 50 politicians (sorted by popularity):

# of politicians: 50 (1.3% of total)
# of statements: 1,674 (67.4% of total)
# of evaluations: 16,891
# of evaluations per statement: 10.1

Conclusion

Still too early for these numbers to be meaningful, though the patterns of a long tail seem to be showing (less than two percent of politicians have more than two thirds of all statements associated with them, while over 90 percent of all politicians do not have any statements associated).

It certainly is an interesting project, and it may take some time for its value to become apparent. My guess is that we’ll have a much better idea where things are headed by the end of Q1/2008.

Benny Lava

December 11th, 2007

Contemporary, indeed:

My loony bun is fine Benny Lava!
Minor bun engine made Benny Lava!
Anybody need this sign? Benny Lava!
You need a bun to bite Benny Lava.

Enjoy!

Seesmic

December 3rd, 2007

First Seesmic post.

Meet me at Politics Online Conference 2008 in Washington DC

November 21st, 2007

I just signed up for Politics Online Conference 2008 in Washington DC (taking advantage of their early bird discount that gets you $150 off the regular price):

The Politics Online Conference sits at the intersection of smart politics, good governance, transparent democracy, and innovative technology, spotlighting tools, applications, strategies, and ideas that affect a range of functions, from writing policy to organizing democratic movements to running a smarter political campaign to building dialogue with your constituents.

People come to the Politics Online Conference to learn about cutting-edge trends and to gain access to the visionaries who make those trends possible. They come to find solutions. They come to discuss their ideas with other experts in the field and outside the Beltway. And they come to network.

The 2008 Politics Online Conference will be held at a new location, the Renaissance Washington, DC Hotel.

Here are the panels I would like to see (out of a list of panel nominations):

  • Laptop Quarterbacks: Are the Campaigns Listening? Should They?
  • Does Web 2.0 Work in Politics?
  • Emails to Congress: Coping with the Deluge
  • Technological outreach to minority/cultural groups
  • Assessing the Power of Political Games and Simulations
  • What’s the Matter with Kansas…Online? How Social Causes Have Replaced Economic Interests as Online Advocacy Motivators

You can vote here for your favorite panels.

The conference will take place March 4-5, 2008. I am organizing a barcamp on e-democracy the weekend immediately prior to the conference. So if you plan to be in town anyway, why not try the unconference thing and attend eDemocracyCamp? Simply sign up on the wiki, save the date on Facebook or Upcoming, or join our mailing list.

Here’s how we currently describe what eDemocracyCamp is all about:

eDemocracyCamp will be the first BarCamp with a focus specifically on e-democracy. eDemocracyCamp wants to connect citizens, researchers, developers, practitioners and anyone else interested in the topic to learn about the current state of e-democracy and share their visions for its future direction. Topics may include (but aren’t limited to): e-democracy, e-participation, e-government, e-voting, online civic engagement, online political campaigning, online dialogue and deliberation. Technical tracks may cover things like the importance of open standards, hacktivism, mashups etc.

The general goal is to learn/share how the web can help us better govern ourselves, support democratic structures, make online civic participation more accessible, convenient, fun, efficient etc.

  • What is out there today (in terms of tools, processes, projects, products, initiatives etc.)?
  • What works, doesn’t work, needs work?
  • What are opportunities for collaboration as we move forward?

Diversity is key: The more people we have who come to this from different angles, the better.

Hope you join us. See you there!

BarcampUKGovweb: January 26-27, 2008 in London (UK)

November 14th, 2007

BarcampUKGovweb looks like it’s shaping up to be a great event, with 50+ people already signed up (some of the UK’s e-democracy heavyweights among them):

This barcamp is about creating a shared understanding and commitment to the vision for UK government web activity and helping establish the UK government Digital Network to bring together the community of webbies within central government and the wider public sector.

Unlikely I will make it myself, but if you’re in the area and into this kind of thing, definitely check it out.

Facebook's impressive growth in Germany

November 13th, 2007

According to this piece by Jeff Pulver, Facebook in Germany grew 30+ percent in just the past two (2) weeks: Facebook: Experiencing Viral, Rapid Growth outside of North America

That’s a lot of new members year-over-year.

At this rate, it’s not unlikely they’ll out-grow everybody else, namely StudiVZ and Xing. And keep in mind they haven’t even localized yet.

Change agent at work

November 12th, 2007

Just for the record:

  • Late March (immediately after landing the job) — Started pushing for team/group/department wiki.
  • April 15, 2007 — Started spreading some Twitter love.
  • April 19, 2007 — Started evangelizing the unconference format and its potential benefits in and around the enterprise.
  • No later than early May 2007 — Started pointing folks to Silicon Valley’s vibrant Lunch 2.0 movement.
  • Etc.

Since then:

  • July 2007 — First internal Lunch 2.0 at Oracle.
  • August 2007 — Oracle is BarCampBlock sponsor.
  • September 2007 — Department wiki launches (internal).
  • October 2007 — First public Oracle Lunch 2.0.
  • November 2007 — Public wiki launches, OpenWorld comes nicely bundled with an unconference, Twitter seems to be all over the place at Oracle.
  • Etc.

Of course, none of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for the curiosity, open-mindedness and drive of a number of other people at Oracle (both inside and outside the sphere of influence a small team like ours can command). That’s what’s made this job such a fun experience over the past few months. And while I’m well aware that I can’t claim credit for all the good things that have been coming together lately, I’m glad that I was able to give some of the right queues at the right time.