Facebooking the Meta-Analysis
September 29th, 2008, 1:00pm by Sam Wang
Reader (and former student) Dave M. makes an interesting suggestion: write Facebook applications for the Meta-Analysis. Interested in helping? Read on…
Dave points out that Facebook applications would “have two main purposes: define the state of the election (specifically to a segment that doesn’t read polling stat geekery but might like pretty graphs) and inform activists where to spend energy.” He goes on…
The features I could think of off the cuff, and in order of programming ease, would include:
1) Daily reproducing the three right-sidebar figures on your main site.
2) Introducing more interactive maps. e.g. scroll the “boost” percentage to an arbitrary value. Scroll the boost for a particular state chosen from a drop-down menu.
3) Making recommendations to students/readers, based on a simple calculation of geographic proximity (available through Facebook) and a return-on-investment calculation (that would, for a new yorker as an example, rank PA and NH high, MA and NJ low). More simply, report a return on investment based on how tight a race is, including links [to partisan sites such as] barackobama.com and MoveOn.
4) Using (or, if necessary, generating) Facebook polls as a means of performing the same analysis. This could be a huge, general value-add, since Facebook IS the underrepresented population everyone worries about missing in more traditional polls, but requires a lot of participants.
If I had time-stopping machine, i would gladly code this….Some of these would take a long time, others could be quick. Some schools have courses where the Facebook API is taught, and final projects are directly used on Facebook.
So - any takers? We haven’t done this kind of thing so we could use the help. Also, any additional suggestions?