New Website Monitors Campaign 2008 Blog Chatter

A pair of Arizona State University professors will formally launch a new website tomorrow that should offer a snapshot of which presidential candidates are being most talked about by bloggers--and whether they're being talked about nicely., currently live in a beta version, uses software developed by ASU Profs. Kevin Dooley and Steve Corman to "read" some 1,000 blogs and websites devoted to presidential politics and then identify the candidates being discussed the most.

Additionally, they use a branch of linguistics known as "centering theory" to pinpoint the most important words in a text and measure the tone of each post to determine how favorably each candidate is being discussed.

The site then selects blog postings that are representative of the day's online political atmosphere, as well as those blogs that were the most ahead of the curve.

Right now, the actual topics and issues associated with each candidate are not currently available to users, but that will change. "As the field winnows down, we're working on various thematic metrics that we'll include," says Dooley.

By Chris Wilson