Social Network sites and news aggregators, bookmarks and feeds have all made the gossip mill a powerful machine. It is long past the days of exchanging gossip over the back fence. Now legions of pundits can rapidly access, summarise and trivialise immense amounts of data and send it to all of their friends with an emoticon and embedded video in the blink of an eye.
I find this amazing in many ways. I have a degree in statistics and though I have always been terrible with numbers, I have found the pollsters an amusing past time. Historically they have sent out questionnaires or conducted phone interviews of a “representative sample” to get the real dope. This all made sense when people more or less received the same news feeds, either through the newspaper or evening news. However with the internet everyone can, and does, receive an individually select feed of information. Uniformity of content delivery is not there. How do people make decisions now, how is opinion influenced? The puzzle has become much more complex – this is so fun!