This article was published on October 10, 2011

Google wants your help in spotting political trends

Google wants your help in spotting political trends
Drew Olanoff
Story by

Drew Olanoff

Drew Olanoff was The Next Web's West Coast Editor. He coined the phrase "Social Good" and invented the "donation by action" model for onlin Drew Olanoff was The Next Web's West Coast Editor. He coined the phrase "Social Good" and invented the "donation by action" model for online charitable movements. He founded #BlameDrewsCancer. You can follow him on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, or email [email protected]

The Google Politics team posted about a new initiative today, wanting to get user assistance in spotting political campaign trends.

It has long been thought that political campaigns could be decided long before the actual campaigning and voting process starts, so it’s interesting to see Google dip its toe into this type of analysis.

The team said:

As the campaign season heats up, one of the ways our Politics & Elections team has begun to participate in the conversation is by highlighting some of the more interesting trends from our search data around candidates, issues, and campaigns. One example of a trend we spotted might explain why GOP Candidate Herman Cain is rising in the polls, while Texas Governor Rick Perry is dropping: four of the top 10 cities with the most searches for [Herman Cain] are major cities right in Texas. According to Google Trends, in all of 2011, Cain is rising fast in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio.

In asking its users to get involved, the Google Politics team had this to say:

Do you support a candidate in a race? Do you support an issue? Turn to our tools to show that you are part of a larger trend.

We’ll look to feature some of these user-submitted trends over the course of the next year right here on our blog.

Using our tools to spot trends is easy and fun. We encourage you to utilize our Insights for Search tool, Google Trends, the Google Ngram Viewer and even Google Correlate to discover and unearth interesting trends, patterns and connections. Once you find something interesting or newsworthy, drop it into the form below.

It’s great to see Google adopt a social approach in its products overall. Up until the past year or so, we’ve blindly used Google search, Gmail, and Analytics, not knowing what interesting things could be done with the data that we share. With this type of initiative, we’re given a clear idea on how powerful our thoughts, intentions, and opinions are. However, will this affect the way you use the products now you are aware?

And will companies like Google, Twitter and Facebook be able to predict the outcome of a political race one day? With as much information as we share today, it may very well happen soon.

To get involved in Google Trend spotting, jump right in and share your thoughts with Google using the form below.

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