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Coal seam gas has proved a hot topic ahead of the NSW election, not only on the campaign trail but also on social media, where a ‘social mood reader’ can reveal the depth of community feeling. NewZulu/Tony Markham/AAP

Finding new ways to track voters' moods, beyond polls and punters

Beyond polls and betting markets, how else can we gauge how people feel ahead of future elections? Social media is a goldmine, and one of the newer ways to tap into it is with a "social mood reader".
In the countdown to the March 28 New South Wales election, social media is a key battleground for persuading swinging voters. @lyon_brendan/Twitter

The marketing battle for NSW hearts and minds on privatisation

Given the history on privatisation in NSW, and facing a more emotionally powerful campaign, the Baird government is actually doing pretty well to be closing in on polling day in a winning position.
Common Core is being debated on social media on an unprecedented scale. The #Commoncore Project.

Twitter takes center stage in Common Core debate

Social media is being actively used in the public debate on Common Core, with an unprecedented 35,000 to 40,000 tweets each month.
Security agencies seeking to understand the radicalisation of young men such as Jake Bilardi might find answers in popular culture. AAP Image/Twitter

Apocalyptic erotica now: the allure of Islamic State online

Western governments not only misread Islamic State, they have a very limited understanding of the Internet and its role within the private spaces, bedrooms and imaginaries of teenagers.
Surging tides from Cyclone Marcia hit Main Beach in Yeppoon, Queensland, with the storm packing wind gusts close to 300 kilometres an hour. AAP Image/Karin Calvert

The role of social media as cyclones batter Australia

Emergency services are using social media to help spread warnings as two tropical cyclones batter Australia. It can also help them with relief efforts once the worst of the severe weather has passed.
Popular friends on social media could give enough warning to make plans to reduce damage some natural disasters. Flickr/Rob Gross

Popular friends on social media can help save you from disasters

You may think your social media friends are only good for keeping you up with all the latest gossip and trends but research published today has found they can also help save you in the event of any natural…
When Queensland MP Tim Nicholls said the Newman government didn’t ‘communicate’ well enough, he cast the audience as passive, without views or values of their own. AAP/John Pryke

Talking loud, saying nothing: the old political pitch no longer works

Amid uncertainty over Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s future even if he survives a leadership spill on Monday, the fallout from the shock Queensland election result and political chaos in the Northern Territory…
Young people can be both ambivalent and positive about Facebook, often at the same time, contrary to conventional wisdom. shutterstock

Logging out? Why young people love to hate Facebook

Researchers, journalists writing about research, and young people themselves have been writing about the perceived decline of Facebook for a while now. Young people are leaving Facebook in droves; Facebook…
The tweet is mightier than the sword. Shutterstock

Army joins the social media war with psy-ops brigade

The British Army is bringing in a new brigade, specialising in psychological warfare, and particularly the use of social media. Whereas the infantry, cavalry, artillery and engineers have been staple units…

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