This is an informal research blog run by Eve Ahearn, Taha Yasseri and Jonathan Bright of the Oxford Internet Institute. We are interested in exploring the extent to which data from the social web can be used to predict interesting social and political phenomena, especially elections. We think there’s lots of potential in this type of data, but it’s also quite biased and partial: hence most of the results so far have been pretty disappointing in terms of predictive accuracy. In this blog we want to work out what (if anything) data coming from the social web is indicative of. Along the way, we hope to find out something interesting about the way politics and society works.