The US Election 2008 Web Monitor provides two social media applications based on the Facebook Platform: Election Monitor and Sentiment Quiz. These applications invite users to cast votes for their preferred candidates in weekly intervals, and to participate in an interactive real-time quiz in the tradition of "games with a purpose".
With the Sentiment Quiz, Facebook users and their network of online friends can evaluate whether sentences from an archive of election-related news media articles express positive or negative sentiment. Participants earn points for matching answers, but can also lose them if their opinions differ from the answers of their opponent.
The built-in notification system and real-time statistics on the users' progress help engage Facebook users and leverage the wisdom of the crowds for scientific purposes. Besides improving algorithms for automated sentiment detection, it is possible to analyze information diffusion in social networks. In combination with the users’ votes, the researchers hope to gain new insights into the phenomenon of "hostile media effects" (the different perception and interpretation of news articles depending on the reader's political orientation).
Based on the SOC Framework, the applications have been jointly developed by Walter Rafelsberger (lead development), Gerhard Wohlgenannt (content aggregation and annotation), Reinhard Fischer (evaluation), Clemens Költringer (evaluation and promotion), Johannes Liegl (conceptualization), and Arno Scharl (project lead).
The US Election 2008 Web Monitor is an initiative of IDIOM (Information Diffusion across Interactive Online Media; www.idiom.at), a research project funded by the FIT-IT Semantic Systems Program (www.fit-it.at). The project is jointly pursued by MODUL University Vienna, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, Graz University of Technology and three industry partners (Gentics, Austria.info and Prisma Solutions).
Department of New Media Technology
MODUL University Vienna
Am Kahlenberg 1
A-1190 Vienna, Austria