Below is a visualization of the most commonly used words in Sarah Palin’s resignation speech today. The full text of the speech is available online and I grabbed this image using Wordle.net – always a good thing to do when a politician gives an important speech. It’s interesting. It might be good to compare this cloud of words with a similar visualization of some of the other Republican governors resigning this summer.
Draw from this what you will. I’ve been reading coverage of the events through Memeorandum, a great source for political news, and the one thing that stands out to me in this visualization is that allegations Palin addressed the nation and not the state she was serving seem questionable given how much she talked about Alaska and Alaskans. It is also interesting to see how many times she used the word “dollars.” She used the word government far more than she did family, though when watching the video of her press conference it sounded like she was really talking about family a lot.
Do you think this kind of analysis can be truly useful? I think that it’s most useful when comparing multiple speeches for content, but even then I’m not sure how to read the meaning of word frequency.
See also a comparison I did in January at ReadWriteWeb of President Obama’s inaugural speech compared the Bushes’ and other past presidents.
Data analysis is fascinating and of course much larger opportunities to engage in it are becoming available every day online. I believe we’re going to see a whole lot of innovation making use of the text of conversations as a foundation for analysis in the near future. Not cute little stuff like this, but big, ongoing, ambitious projects. Hopefully for more than just marketing purposes. Here’s a blog post and great audio interview on that topic, if you’re interested.