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Looking for feedback on political media analysis tool

LeftRight

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Hey all...

I recently launched a political media comparison tool at http://www.left-right.us. This web site displays liberal and conservative news information side-by-side -- on the left and right, respectively. The search page returns Google search results limited to popular liberal and conservative news sources. The newsfeeds page shows aggregated headlines drawn from the same sites' RSS feeds.

I'm looking for feedback...

1. Is this useful?

2. How could the media source lists be improved?

I appreciate any advice you can give. This is a personal project and I am fully aware that it may just be a silly toy, but it would great if it was useful. Thanks in advance.
 

ricksfolly

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Hey all...

I recently launched a political media comparison tool at http://www.left-right.us. This web site displays liberal and conservative news information side-by-side -- on the left and right, respectively. The search page returns Google search results limited to popular liberal and conservative news sources. The newsfeeds page shows aggregated headlines drawn from the same sites' RSS feeds.

I'm looking for feedback...

1. Is this useful?

2. How could the media source lists be improved?

I appreciate any advice you can give. This is a personal project and I am fully aware that it may just be a silly toy, but it would great if it was useful. Thanks in advance.

First you should know that politics isn't about voting for candidates, or issues. It's about finding reasons to convince voters to vote against, and it makes sense, because voters don't have the time nor patience to weigh all the issues.

ricksfolly
 

MaggieD

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I think your idea is a very interesting one. I wouldn't click the link to try it though, since I don't trust it. No offense. But I've learned the hard way that sometimes "Search" can be programmed to be "Download." I'd have loved to try it. Good thinking outside the box! Good luck to you!!!
 

LeftRight

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First you should know that politics isn't about voting for candidates, or issues. It's about finding reasons to convince voters to vote against, and it makes sense, because voters don't have the time nor patience to weigh all the issues.

Alright. Given that there are a variety of opinions in the world, would it be helpful to be able to do a Google search draws from multiple sides simultaneously?
 

LeftRight

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I think your idea is a very interesting one. I wouldn't click the link to try it though, since I don't trust it. No offense. But I've learned the hard way that sometimes "Search" can be programmed to be "Download." I'd have loved to try it. Good thinking outside the box! Good luck to you!!!

I'm sorry you have had that experience. I assure you this is just a highly customized Google search, and as safe as Google. Of course, you don't know me, so why would you trust me... ah well.
 

MKULTRABOY

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Wow this thing is pretty awesome :) I dont try and subscribe to politics on a left right paradigm it just doesnt sit well with me. But the site seems pretty useful for people trying to view the spin on issues.
 

MaggieD

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Okay, so others here did it -- thought I would as well. The idea intrigued me. I'm going to bookmark it. Personally, I think it is very useful to see the spin. YAY LEFTRIGHT!!!! Hope you make some money on it. Personally? I think it's just an excellent idea.

Edit: I've used your search engine on a number of topics. It's really fantastic. I don't think there's anything out there like it. One question: How does the search engine know which outlet is left/right? Or is that something you decide? If you decide, it must be difficult to keep up with new media as they come into play. Anyhow, I sure did mark it as a favorite. I'm emailing it to a few friends who are always interested in spin. Good luck!!
 
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LeftRight

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Wow this thing is pretty awesome :) I dont try and subscribe to politics on a left right paradigm it just doesnt sit well with me. But the site seems pretty useful for people trying to view the spin on issues.

Thank you! I don't subscribe to politics on a left-right continuum either, but I recognize that the media usually does. :)
 
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LeftRight

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Okay, so others here did it -- thought I would as well. The idea intrigued me. I'm going to bookmark it. Personally, I think it is very useful to see the spin. YAY LEFTRIGHT!!!! Hope you make some money on it. Personally? I think it's just an excellent idea.

Edit: I've used your search engine on a number of topics. It's really fantastic. I don't think there's anything out there like it. One question: How does the search engine know which outlet is left/right? Or is that something you decide? If you decide, it must be difficult to keep up with new media as they come into play. Anyhow, I sure did mark it as a favorite. I'm emailing it to a few friends who are always interested in spin. Good luck!!

Thanks!!!

For now, I've chosen the left/right (and center -- one of the options on the search page) myself. It isn't arbitrary; except in a handful of cases, I have categorized sources based on the way each source categorizes itself, or the way most people seem to. E.g. I don't think we would argue that Fox News tends to be right-leaning, and Huffington Post tends to be left-leaning. There are flaws in this approach, of course: I should add more sources (and I will as I have time), and some people don't like the idea that I focus on the major media players. But my goal isn't to be exhaustive; it's to be comparative. I find that most of the smaller sites simply regurgitate and discuss news from the major sites.

Incidentally, you will see advertising in the search results because I'm relying on Google for the search results, and they insert ads. I don't have the money to pay Google for the advanced customization without ads. Nonetheless, I'm not doing this for money.
 

LeftRight

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Can I have the money then?

lol.

Actually, because of the number of inquiries about the ads, Im going to set up a Paypal donation button if people want to help pay for the ad-free version of Google's search service. I certainly can't pay for it myself.
 

Hoplite

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Hey all...

I recently launched a political media comparison tool at http://www.left-right.us. This web site displays liberal and conservative news information side-by-side -- on the left and right, respectively. The search page returns Google search results limited to popular liberal and conservative news sources. The newsfeeds page shows aggregated headlines drawn from the same sites' RSS feeds.

I'm looking for feedback...

1. Is this useful?

2. How could the media source lists be improved?

I appreciate any advice you can give. This is a personal project and I am fully aware that it may just be a silly toy, but it would great if it was useful. Thanks in advance.
It's a great start, but there are a couple of problems.

First, the hits all seem to come from a grouping of sources. I punched in "Socialism" and the vast majority of results on the Left were Huffington Post, and WND, FreeRepublic, and Townhall on the Right. The results are somewhat narrow and VERY specific. A little more broad scan of more sources would be good and not have it hit EVERY INSTANCE of the keyword on the website, or have a setting where you can go broad or specific.

Second, how is "Left" and "Right" determined?
 

MKULTRABOY

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Popular american conception of left and right apparent in the media most likely.
 

LeftRight

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I punched in "Socialism" and the vast majority of results on the Left were Huffington Post, and WND, FreeRepublic, and Townhall on the Right. The results are somewhat narrow and VERY specific. A little more broad scan of more sources would be good and not have it hit EVERY INSTANCE of the keyword on the website, or have a setting where you can go broad or specific.

I agree there could be more sources. Take a look at the list of sources on the About page and let me know if you have suggestions. Meanwhile, the default search results are by newness of link; you might prefer by Google rank (e.g. "importance") which you can choose from the advanced options on the search page.

Second, how is "Left" and "Right" determined?

I've determined left/right/center exactly as SE102 suggested: popular American conception. Some sources self-identify themselves as well.
 

ricksfolly

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Alright. Given that there are a variety of opinions in the world, would it be helpful to be able to do a Google search draws from multiple sides simultaneously?

It's more like emotional reaction to a political opinion, whether you should do something about it or not, and if it affects your vote.

ricksfolly
 

ricksfolly

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how is "Left" and "Right" determined?

Both sides are political opportunists, but the Right has made it a science.

The Left is compassionate, the Right pretends to be compassionate.

Both sides deny what they said in the past even though it's on tape, but the Right has more to deny.

The Right has more weird characters than the Left.

ricksfolly
 

Barbbtx

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You're not going to believe this, but I swear it's the truth. Yesterday, I got all involved in a daydream about how someone should do exactly what you have done. I don't have the know how, but glad you do.
I searched Climategate. Hilarious! Thank you and good luck!
 

LeftRight

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Both sides are political opportunists, but the Right has made it a science. The Left is compassionate, the Right pretends to be compassionate. Both sides deny what they said in the past even though it's on tape, but the Right has more to deny. The Right has more weird characters than the Left.

As my grandmother used to say: "I know the Democrats lie. And I know the Republicans lie. I just prefer the lies of the Democrats."
 

Grim17

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I added it to my favorites... Great job.
 

ricksfolly

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As my grandmother used to say: "I know the Democrats lie. And I know the Republicans lie. I just prefer the lies of the Democrats."

That also applies today.

What I'll never understand is why people vote against their own best interests...

ricksfolly
 

Barbbtx

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That also applies today.

What I'll never understand is why people vote against their own best interests...

ricksfolly
Personally, I vote for what I think is the best interest for the country, not neccessarily my own best interest.
 

ricksfolly

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Personally, I vote for what I think is the best interest for the country, not neccessarily my own best interest.

Nobody knows what's best for the country, including pundits and politicians who claim they do, because nobody can predict the future. All anyone can reasonably do is accept what happens next with as little preconditions as possible.

That being said, your own best interests is the only real thing you have going for you.

ricksfolly
 

Barbbtx

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Nobody knows what's best for the country, including pundits and politicians who claim they do, because nobody can predict the future. All anyone can reasonably do is accept what happens next with as little preconditions as possible.

That being said, your own best interests is the only real thing you have going for you.

ricksfolly
Not neccessarily. For instance, I may benefit financially from Obama's socialistic policies, but in my opinion, that is not the best thing for the country. Therefore, I would vote against my own best interests.
 

kaya'08

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Some really clever programming here, curious as to how the search engine differentiates between left/right but i suppose you did that manually?

LeftRight, could work, i wish you the best of luck, and please visit here frequently so that we can hear your views.
 
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