Yellowknife Twitter Bot Spreads Global Warming Knowledge

Climate change is occurring at a faster pace with every passing year. The rate of change is hard for us to comprehend and think rationally about. An engineer with Ecology North in Yellowknife decided to help us all understand how quickly things are changing by making a twitter bot – @ykclimatewatch that compares temperatures of the past with those of today.

“The more you act on climate, the less likely you are going to be anxious about it,” said Gagnon.
His solution was to create bot that compares each day’s temperature to average temperatures in the community on that date, so people can see the trend for themselves.

Ecology North’s YK Climate Watch Twitter bot is still in its infancy. Its official tweets started in January.
The bot automatically calculates the mean, or average, temperature of the day between 1971 and 2000. It then compares the historical average — or the “climate normal” which is the three-decade averages — to the average temperature of the day on Environment Canada.

Read more.

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We’re so Web2.0 right now! Anybody else remember that?

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New Ways to Poll Public Opinion on Politicians

Traditional pollsters use the telephone to try to figure out what people’s opinion on politicians happens to be. I’ve asked around to see if anybody I know has been called by a pollster and the number is a giant zero. I attribute this to the fact that you can’t tele-market to cellphones in Canada (or some similarly good regulation), so essentially anybody who doesn’t have landline won’t be counted in the polls.

This means that polls are missing a large chunk of the population and are not truly representative of the true population. How many people under 30 have a landline? Now there are a few companies trying to make polling relevant again by using popular web services to augment their measurements.

Layton’s tweets reached 322,305 people last week, according to the firm’s data. Ignatieff’s tweets reached 270,218 people and Harper’s had an audience of 156,536.

At first glance, those numbers seem to be at odds with the fact Harper has tens of thousands more Twitter followers than either Ignatieff or Layton.

But, Navigator’s Will Stewart says this is likely because of differences in the parties’ social media strategies

Read the rest of the article.

Disclosure: someone from Klout forwarded this to me.

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