Are You a Political Insider?
Every four years, America’s political elite gathers for two blowout events known as the party conventions. Delegates and party insiders won’t just be nominating Mitt Romney in Tampa this week and Barack Obama in Charlotte next week — they’ll be spending the week angling for prized floor credentials and swank party invites.
Insider status will go a long way in Tampa and Charlotte — as it does in DC year round — and we wanted to see if it would be possible to use social data to build a formula to calculate something as nebulous and often elusive as political insider status.
Are You a Political Insider? is a new tool from Trendsetter we built to answer this question. We analyze your interests on Facebook to see how much you have in common with members of D.C.’s political class. We give you a Political Insider Score from 0 to 100 and let you see how you stack up against America’s most consummate political animals — and all your friends. At least for our friends, the results were shockingly accurate. Here’s how a few of the people I’m connected to on Facebook stack up:
Over the last few months we’ve learned a lot from Trendsetter, a tool that uses analysis of Facebook interest and likes and combines it with simple surveys to discover the hidden psychographic forces that drive public opinion. Our study of the political leanings of major social networking platforms was picked up all over the Internet — including in Mashable, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, the Huffington Post, and BuzzFeed.
Now, we’re turning the spotlight back on us, and asking what all those likes can say about the things we care about, and about our core identity. First up: Can social data predict something as seemingly opaque as who’s likely to have the ear of decision-makers?
We won’t pretend any ranking algorithm can be 100% accurate. Influence, after all, can be a pretty subjective thing.
Nonetheless, we think this comes pretty darned close. Connect, and see what the world would be like if social media decided backstage access at the convention.