Thursday, December 23, 2004

Primary phrasing

You can tell what kinds of messaging meetings are taking place at the White House, by looking at the shifts in primary phrases in press briefing archives over time. These phrases tie strongly to deliberate talking points, because it's hard to find many ways of expressing the same idea, especially when the whole point is to express exactly the same idea. Given changing talking points, we can see the framing strategy more clearly. All of this would be obvious to a politician or PR specialist in Washington DC ... but we'd like to automate the obvious, so we can begin to publicly tie these descriptions of policy to the actual effects, exposing the vast difference.

I wrote to feedback at the Google Suggest team. It would make sense to implement the "site:" constraint, so we could isolate the primary phrases of govenments & corporations. 'Google Suggest' finds the primary phrases that match what you type, in a much larger domain, in its type-ahead-like interface. But we'd like to actually list these phrases according to use, site by site. It would provide a PR diagram of any institution.

Of course, I can write a short program to do this for small sets. But getting Google to do it, with their vast database, would be much more potent.


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