Online political widgetry and gadgetry

In my research on politicians’  use of Twitter, I came across these widgets showing live updates of MPs tweeting throughout the day. To me these are a quick way (although not always reliable) to collect the usernames of tweeting politician.

Here are some links to pages aggregating political tweets:
Tweetcongress is a basic page showing who in the US congress is tweeting, how often and what about.

Kamertweets is a Dutch version also showing basic data. It let’s you embed the latest tweets on your own webpage:

Then there is of course the British Tweetminster. This seems to be, of these three, the most elaborate one. Not only does Tweetminster provide the basic data. It allows you to use html-code to embed tweets onto your page, as you can see below:

Not only that, they also provide html-code to embed the Tweetometer (a spin-off of the famous Swingometer in the UK):

This is all nice, and although these widgets were not intended for analysis purposes, it would be very nice to see some more elaborate analysis of the role Twitter plays in political communication. Here at Yeungnam University’s WCU Webometrics Institute, we are developing a number of tools that allows us to collect and visualize data (yes yes shameless self promotion). Analysis takes place with regular software tools (SPSS, Pajek, Ucinet). Papers are coming available soon at a conference near you.

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Maurice Vergeer

I am Maurice Vergeer, working at Communication Science department of the Radboud University Nijmegen, in the Netherlands.