What is the best way to predict the results of the upcoming elections? How about listening to what people are saying? Election Predictors is mining the text from social media sites to determine the mood of potential voters. This article talks of predictions by Attensity, a text mining company, that Mitt Romney would win seven states on Super Tuesday based on more than 800,000 posts on Twitter. Four of the predictions were predicted correctly (MA, VA, ID, and OH). Forrester and Carnegie Melon researchers stress that this technique is still in its infancy and that more progress needs to be made in terms of weeding out artificial content and detecting sarcasm to ensure greater accuracy of predictions. Also, adding a larger data set, like Facebook, could make this process far more accurate. In a business context, companies looking to maximize social media presence may want to go beyond handling customer complaints on Twitter and develop adaptive product and service offerings based on the indirect customer feedback freely available.
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(submitted and written by Kyle)