Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The hivemind predicts the future

If you were watching the frequency of Wikipedia page edits, you might have gotten the scoop on who McCain picked for VP:

In the days leading up to Republican presidential candidate John McCain's running mate announcement, political junkies glued to broadcasts and blogs for clues of McCain's veep choice might have done better to keep a sharp eye on each candidate's Wikipedia entry.

Just hours before McCain declared his veep choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, her Wiki page saw a flurry of activity, with editors adding details about her approval rating and husband's employment. Perhaps more tellingly, some of the same users editing her page were almost simultaneously updating McCain's Wiki entry, adding information dealing with accuracy, sources and footnotes to each.

HT: Mad Latinist from the comments. My favorite method of figuring out who the vice presidential picks would be is by tracking flight plans for charter planes. Ambinder did it with Biden, Abulsme.com did it for Palin. If you want to play the game yourself, (say, when McCain dumps Palin (13% on Intrade as of this posting) and speculation runs rampant on who will replace her) you can go here.

2 Comments:

OpenID jdm314 said...

My impression was that the edits were caused by campaign workers who knew that as soon as the announcement was made, everyone would run right for wikipedia.

10:11 AM, September 03, 2008  
Blogger Abulsme said...

This is Sam of abulsme.com. To be fair, I did not mention the airplane thing out of original research and was certainly not the first to mention it. By the time I posted about it, the plane flight from Alaska to Ohio was being mentioned in all sorts of other places both online and on cable news, including not just the flight tracking, but also quotes from airport employees who saw several people matching the description of Palin and her family leaving the plane. I was just noting the existence of those reports and didn't link to a specific one, as there were already a lot of them.

6:00 PM, September 05, 2008  

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