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8/27/2007
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Web Service To Measure Campaign Buzz On Blogs

The software aims at being a real-time scorecard for which presidential candidate is winning the battle of the blogs.

A new Web service is measuring presidential candidates for market share and quality of buzz online.

Wonkosphere launched last week and promises not only to search the Web for postings about candidates but also to measure whether the buzz is mostly positive or negative. Arizona State University professor Steven Corman and Crawdad Technologies, the company he co-founded, developed the site, which is organized by candidate and updates every four hours.

"The influence of political blogging will be profound in this presidential election, and no candidate can afford to ignore it," Corman said in a prepared statement. "Wonkosphere.com taps into that powerful nexus of political buzz and makes sense of it. It is a real-time scorecard for which candidate is winning the battle of the blogs."

Patented text analysis technology is used to sift through thousands of political blogs and determine the gist, the author and the tone. Centering Resonance Analysis (CRA), a network text analysis technology developed at Arizona State University, performs analytics for the site by applying natural language processing algorithms. Text is converted and analyzed to determine the relevant importance of all of the words in the text, according to Wonkosphere.

The site promises a free, unbiased analysis of presidential candidates' buzz. The site listed New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and unofficial contender and former Tennessee Sen. and actor Fred Thompson as the top three candidates in terms of buzz share on Monday.

Crawdad offers Listening Post technology to provide similar information about buzz on products, brands, celebrities, and other issues. The company's development of CRA was partly funded the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

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