I've added this to my del.icio.us feed, but it seemed worth flagging up on its own, as it is so interesting. Spartan Internet has just launched an index of online political success. The index combines a whole host of measures - hits, tags on social bookmarks, outreach on social networking sites and search engine placement - to assess just how well candidates are doing online. At the moment, Barack Obama leads the line, with a score of 21.29 per cent, followed by Ron Paul (11.51 per cent) and Hillary Clinton (11.36 per cent).
Spartan's efforts are probably the most complete index, as they seek to amalgamate a range of measures, but they aren't the only people seeking to order data created from online presence. TechPresident has been counting Facebook and MySpace friends, and YouTube viewers, whilst Hitwise has been calculating scores for individual candidate websites based on the number of visits and search queries they receive. I reckon there are two things to remember about these measures. Firstly, these measures aren't an exact science - they are constructed with weightings and variable methodologies after all - and, as I blogged a while back, the real significance of online success is how it fits into the wider campaign.