The title of my Blog is taken from today’s New York Times Article on the subject. I mean the paper that is thrown at the end of my driveway. I still read it on the weekend and find it interesting. I’m sure the same article is online. The article revealed to me something I did not know about the use of Google as it relates to this election. The use of Google to predict and track voter behaviour months and months before an election. The same data could be used for a thousand different applications. When you and I search Google, we leave behind a record of what we searched on. Every single time, we think we engage with Google we leave tracks, like animals walking through the snow in the dead of winter. We leave little clues that Google can use to study and predict behaviours. Google data is highly underutilized when it comes to election data. It shows troubling information like the number of times certain words are searched on, like “Obama Michelle Ugly or Pretty”. Or what kind of rituals Morman’s have. It’s important to know what people search on in their most private moments (or so we think this is private) so you can predict behaviour.
The article states that based on searches by different people, of varying demographic backgrounds, they can predict how people will vote in the upcomoning election. Google data can be used to predict voter turnout, by regions, by what we search on. If this is true, then it is predicted that despite social media, despite race or cultural issues surrounding the election most people will not turn out to vote. Nothing changes…we like to talk, blog, tweet about the election, but not trouble ourselves to vote. Now I know that when I search on a term, my information is used (in aggregate from) to provide valuable information to those who need to know how I think.