We've moved!

Social Icons

twitterfacebooklinkedinrss feed

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

North Dakota Chats up South Dakota; Minnesota Ignores Us

Rebecca Blood turns my attention to Lexicalist.com, which analyzes online text and demographics to figure out who's talking about what where. You type in a word, Lexcialist calculates the prevalence of that word in online conversations by state, sex, and age.

So I type in South Dakota. The results:

Lexicalist.com ties most of the conversation about South Dakota, 81.2%, to speakers/bloggers/tweeters in South Dakota. Among outsiders, we figure most prominently in the consciousness of our northern neighbors: North Dakotan online sources contribute 6.2% of mentions of "South Dakota (certainly 5.2% are prefaced with the phrase, "Gee, why can't we be more like..."). Wyoming produces 4.0% of South Dakota mentions; Iowa 2.5%. Our Minnesota neighbors provide only 0.7% of South Dakota mentions, a tick fewer than even Montanas make... and Montanans have Yellowstone and the Rockies to distract them. Minnesotans talk about North Dakota twice as much. What gives?

Plug "Minnesota" into the Lexicalist search query, and you find that Minnesotans provide only 35.3% of their own mentions. 13.0% come from North Dakota, and 10.2% come from South Dakota. (I leave it to the Minnesota Department of Tourism to speculate as to what words precede our mentions of our easterly neighbor.) Hmmm... are South Dakotans more self-absorbed than Minnesotans? Mentions of Minnesota are more spread out among other states, suggesting their marketing and top-of-mind-awareness are better than ours... or that they just get more online press thanks to the Twins.

One more random note for the watercooler: The three states that talk about New York the most are New York (12.6% of mentions), New Jersey (5.7%), and North Dakota (4.3%). South Dakota ties with Alaska for talking about New York the least, not even registering on Lexicalist's count. Hmmm....

1 comment:

  1. Now we should figure out statistics for people who talk or write about people who talk or write about other states.

    Seriously, I suspect that the "liberalness" or "conservativeness" of a state could play a role here. North Dakota seems more "liberal" than South Dakota, and Minnesota certainly is.

    For what it's worth, I get the impression that Montana is more "liberal" than Wyoming, as well.

    I recall listening to "A Prairie Home Companion" one evening when I lived in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Wisconsin's governor Jim Doyle appeared as a guest, and he chatted with Garrison Keillor about the notion of Minnesota becoming "West Wisconsin." Those two states have a lot in common, including their relatively "liberal" leaning politics. At one point, as Mr. Keillor expressed some hesitancy at giving up Minnesota's sovereignty even in name, Gov. Doyle asked, "Would you rather be called 'East Dakota'?"

    General laughter followed, and I contributed.

    I remain confused as to whether Gov. Doyle really meant "Southeast North Dakota" or "Northeast South Dakota." With Sen. Dorgan of North Dakota constituting one of the 13 votes not stridently opposing a new value-added tax in the recent "sense of the Senate" poll led by our venerable John McCain, I suppose a signficant difference would exist.

    As far as I know, the state where I grew up still calls itself "Minnesota," so we need not contend with the "Southeast North Dakota Vikings" or the "Northeast South Dakota Twins" or the "West Wisconsin Timberwolves" or any of that.

    Let them ignore us hicks and hillbillies. Suits me just fine.


Comments are closed, as this portion of the Madville Times is in archive mode. You can join the discussion of current issues at MadvilleTimes.com.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.