Home is Where the Froth Is

We bitch about the rain, we bitch about the Ducks, we bitch about Animal House — all of which, as a native Eugenean Oregonian in Sandy Eggian Exile, is our birthright. But every once in awhile, something comes along to remind us of the Eugene we loved, the Eugene where everybody wears socks with their Birks without thinking twice.

It works like this: Some enterprising geeks have mapped “geotagged online content” for each of the Republican candidates — that is, detecting the source of an online reference. If you group those references by state, you can see that Ron Paul (green) draws the most online chatter, distantly trailed by Mitt Romney (red) and Newt Gingrich (purple).

And then there’s Oregon, in blue, the lone holdout for — wait a sec, Rick Santorum?

Santorum’s “win” in Oregon is primarily due to his “Google problem”, with numerous references to the alternative meaning in Eugene.

That’s the Eugene we come from: The Anal-Sex Reference Capital of America. Suck it, Portlandia.

Mapping Cyberscapes of the 2012 Republican Presidential Primary [Floatingsheep, via Sully]

What? No color appropriate brown Santorum?

I despise screwed-up maps. This one should clearly have Texas, Utah and Minnesota in also-ran (Perry, Huntsman, Bachman) gray just like New Mexico, Mississippi and West Virginia. Evidently the patriots living in Idaho and South Dakota haven’t mentioned any of the candidates online. Possibly they all decline having internet connections which would allow the feds to eavesdrop on all their seditious conversations.
It also looks like Oregon has more Ron Paul hits than for Santorum, so I guess this map is pandering to the people of Oregon so they can feel “special” in yet another way. Shout out to my cousin in Portland.

@Dave H: Gray indicates no clear winner among the four (mainstream) candidates left in the race. I don’t think geotagging is the best metric for candidate support, but the map is seemingly accurate as far as that goes.

@mellbell: I overlooked that explanation for the gray states. Given the volume of hits for Perry in Texas it seems dishonest awarding it to the distant runner-up.

@Dave H:
Idaho teabaggers are used to only voting Republican. They’re easily confused by choices so you can imagine how bewildering it is when they can only pick one the following candidates: socially conservative, libertarian, Mormon, or angry. They just want to know which one is the most bugshit crazy.

@mellbell: Geotagging is an awful metric, since it’s self-selecting (who geotags?) and a limited data set.

But hey, Eugene Hearts Santorum Jokes. That’s all I care about.

@nojo: But, by its self-selecting nature, it does measure (to some degree, anyway) intensity of support.

@mellbell: I’m thinking the geotag part. Geotagging is built into some software (“turn on Location”), but Floating Sheep measures one type only:

This site is dedicated to mapping and analyzing user generated Google Map placemarks.

That’s pretty limited — the self-selection isn’t so much political activists as such, but geek political activists. So, if anything, the data reinforces the (already known) intensity of Libertarianism among geeks.

@nojo: True. It would be interesting to see something similar done with automatically geotagged information, like Flickr uploads or foursquare check-ins or what have you. A lot of the social media scoring of candidates (what was WaPo’s thing called, again?) seems to miss that element.

@mellbell: Oh, gawd, I forget what WaPo called it, but they were counting tweets. All that does is select for the loudest people in the room. And, of course, any announced measurement is ripe for gaming.

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