Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Fun with Technorati and Keyword Trends

Last week I added a small Technorati chart to this blog in the right hand column, just above the “Recent VIX Readers” widget. As the label indicates, the chart shows the number of posts on all blogs that have included the word “VIX” in them over the past 30 days, as measured by Technorati.

I added the chart largely for informational purposes, but since 30 days have elapsed since the February 27th volatility eruption, I thought it might be interesting to track the use of the word “VIX” in the blogosphere and see how well it correlates with the index itself. Much to my surprise, the correlation is extremely high, with very little lag, as the graph below indicates.

Theoretically, you can do something similar with Google Trends (including slice and dice by region and date,) but if you try to do this with “VIX” the results look much less compelling.

Getting back to Technorati, you can use their own drop down menu parameters at http://technorati.com/chart/VIX?sub=chartlet. You can insert any keyword or keywords you wish, even search for an exact phrase using quotation marks. I suggest starting with something topical like “subprime” and going from there.

If you wish too fine tune this tool by customizing some of the parameters beyond the options available via the drop-down menu, you can edit the URL directly. Techies will probably know how to do this better than I can, but the URL for the basic VIX graph on my blog is: http://technorati.com/chartimg/%28VIX%29?totalHits=12325&size=s&days=30

You can customize some of the parameters as follows:

  • VIX = “any key word(s)”

  • size = y (where y = “s” “m” “l” or “xl”) – I highly recommend “xl” for any analytical work

  • days = zzz (where zzz is any number between 1 and 366) -- unfortunately, I believe this feature is only available for the past year

Contrarians and trend faders, have at it!

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