Tom Coates writes about the political compass postings that have been meme-ing their way through the blogosphere lately. I know I took the test and posted my results here sometime, but I’d have to use my search feature to find it, or take the test again to see if I’ve drifted or if the questions have. I seem to recall a good post about this at kuro5hin a while back, noting that the compass (the x/y grid, actually) was invented by libertarians and tend to bias people toward discovering their inner libertarian tendencies.
I’m also a gray-area person in general. When presented with either-or choices I usually want to say, “both” or “it depends” and quizzes don’t permit nuances like that. Tom also notices something I’ve noticed:
Whether or not the weblogs marked on the chart are representative of webloggers in general is difficult to say given the small sample size. If it is, anecdotal evidence would seem to suggest that right-wing webloggers talk more about politics, as my general experience of reading political sites is they almost always seem to be right-wing. Which makes you wonder what the left are talking about….
Tom also suggests we remedy the small sample-size problem:
Anyway, at the moment the sample size is ludicrously inadequate but maybe if we can get a few more webloggers to take the test and then feed in their results to the (ugly, unreadable and yet totally compelling) collation form on the analysis site, we might start to get some more useful results. It would be fascinating to start mapping these results back onto geographical areas…
…and as always he has some good thoughts about how this metric could be more useful for end users:
More interesting still would be to start creating ways of navigating sites via these political axes. I like the idea of providing a mechanism for someone to navigate to another site from mine simply by asking for something, “more libertarian”. Another useful/intriguing approach might be to find ways to contexualise the material on a weblog by connecting a keyword or URL search to these political frameworks. Think how awesome it could be to be able to automatically generate a set of links that would give you representative perspectives from every major political sensibility on any given issue, news story or link. It’s just one example of the kind of contextualising tool I talked about in the Guardian a while back and would fit in really nicely with aggregators like Blogdex and Google News,