Season: 1 Episode: 5
David Coletto, pollster and CEO of Abacus Data, chats with Elizabeth about what public opinion polling is, how publics are identified, and why what "the public" thinks is politically useful. They also talk about how social media (and all the data we leave behind as we use them) are changing how we can get to know different publics. David takes a quiz to differentiate between networked publics and calculated publics (spoiler: he passes!).
In the academic journal article: Social media analysis and public opinion: The 2010 UK general election, Anstead and O'Loughlin do a great job of explaining how ideas about public opinion and how it is measured have changed over time.
Kennedy and Moss also explore the idea of publics in their academic journal article: Known or knowing publics? Social media data mining and the question of public agency. They do a great job of connecting their work to the ideas of networked and calculated publics.
Dubois (yep, your host), Gruzd and Jacobson consider how social media data can be used to infer public opinion in this Policy Options article: Journalists should be careful when using social media posts to report what the public thinks, and should tell readers how the data was collected