Taking #AUSPOL’s temperature

The auspol widget

The Twitter tag #AUSPOL is arguably the most active political discussion group in Australia. So we’re inserting a thermometer, taking its temperature and giving an hourly indication of what’s hot in Australian politics.

There are on average about 2,500 tweets an hour tagged with #auspol – it’s a very active tag. And one which jumps around depending on what’s in the news or happening in Canberra.

Our new gadget and widget are trying to give a sense of what’s top of mind in the #auspol community hour-by-hour.

We do this by sampling tweets each hour and extracting both the most used words and the most active tweet (based on mentions, re-tweets, etc). We then do some filtering to remove common words – like ‘the” – and finally display the top ten words, with bigger, thicker words indicating more usage.

The widget on our front page shows the top most used word and gives an indication of whether the #auspol tag is running hotter or colder than average for that time of day.

The auspol gadget

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