Facebook Lexicon and “Cincinnati”

The Facebook Lexicon is a searhable application tracks the usage of terms used in Facebook on group, profile and wall pages. It’s an endlessly fascinating way to take a bird’s eye view of what people are talking about – and, frankly, what they are not.

Because of Facebook’s global scope, I think it’s hard to be able to get a true measure of what local people think. But, with our overall obsession with what the world thinks of Cincinnati, it’s a interesting way to see when exactly people talk about Cincinnati.

Here’s the chart for Facebook and the word “Cincinnati” for 2008.

Using the Facebook Lexicon, the word Cincinnati, Jan to Dec 2008
Using the Facebook Lexicon, the word "Cincinnati," Jan to Dec 2008

What exactly gets people talking about Cincinnati? I’m not sure. My memory is not that good. But maybe a look back at news coverage will give us an idea why there is a spike, for example, in early- to mid-March? Or big drops in mid-December? Or how can we better take advantage of the interest in Cincinnati during the warmer months of the year?

There has also been much said about Obama’s superior utilization of the Internet, but more specially new media, during the campaign. And that’s obvious with another feature of the Lexicon, comparative searches (up to five terms possible). I searched for “Obama” and “McCain” and zoomed into 2008.

If, presumably, McCain did not about this and he did, would he or his campaign staff worked harder to embrace new media?

There is not enough data to do the search I would really like to do: “Driehaus” and “Chabot.” No surprise, I am a big proponent of social media and politics. But surprisingly, there is still quite a bit of resistance to it.

There are loads of other possible searches. I have done a few others like “election” and “Cincinnati”; “boring” and “Cincinnati”; “fun” and “Cincinnati”; “streetcar,” “useful route” and “Cincinnati” – with not enough data present to render results. But I bet in the future there will be and this will be a great and very useful feature. What other searches would you do?

Author: Joe Wessels

Joe Wessels is a freelance journalist and photographer. Wessels covers local news events for Thomson Reuters news service and features for About.com's Cincinnati Guide site, plus is the executive director of hyperlocal news site, iRhine.com. He wrote for The Cincinnati Post, covering Cincinnati City Hall and Hamilton County government and wrote a weekly political column, which continued weekly at Cincinnati CityBeat. Previously, he was a reporter for the Cincinnati Business Courier and writes or has written for several publications in Cincinnati and around the country including The Cincinnati Enquirer, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Cincinnati Magazine, Cincy Magazine and the Sacramento News & Review. He is a native of Colerain Township, one of Cincinnati's western suburbs, and now lives in Over-the-Rhine near downtown Cincinnati. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a journalism writing certificate from the University of Cincinnati. He also graduated from Colerain High School, is an avid photographer, news junkie and was once a roller rink disc jockey, and sometimes rides a scooter around town.

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