With the end of the year, the end of the decade, and the end of President Obama’s first year in office all fast approaching there is likely to be a bit of a battle of the listicle coming our way (the first wave of which has already arrived).
Now, lists are great but wouldn’t it be way more fun if we could just put the decade in a word cloud. Also rather amazing if someone could figure out how to calculate it (probably someone will have figured it out by 2019). Anyone want to guess what it would include? Obama, Bush, Clinton, Iraq, Twitter, YouTube, Google, Gmail, Blackberry, iTunes, iPhone, Harry Potter, all seem likely contenders. Alas, even though this is the Internet decade (among other things), the Internet has only really comprehensively ruled our lives for the last 4-5 years, meaning there is only so much data to mine.
The same cannot be said for Barack Obama, our first Internet presidency. Whereas the 22 million emails the Bush administration “lost” have just been recovered, one wonders if that’s not the average amount of emails the current White House generates every week. It also means that Obama’s entire time in the spotlight as both presidential candidate and president exists online. The Washington Post has taken advantage of this as far as Obama’s many, many presidential speeches are concerned and created a searchable online database, which allows readers to search by issue to get available transcripts and video. It also boasts a tag cloud of the most used words. It is perhaps a measure of how devoted Obama has been to both the economy and health (at least in his speeches) that these clock in as most popular — you have to look a bit more closely to find “change.”
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