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Revealed: the Twitterendum, our unique gauge of the indyref battle on social media

HeraldScotland has partnered with leading digital agency Equator to bring our readers unique insight into how the referendum debate is being played out on Twitter with less than 200 days to the vote.

The Equator Twitterendum gives real-time information on whether the Yes or No camp is achieving more traction on Twitter, making it a contemporary twist on the conventional election swingometer.

This unique tool works by monitoring a selection of trigger keywords and phrases related to the debate, such as "#BetterTogether" and "#VoteYes".

While it does not provide an exact science in terms of predicting the outcome of the referendum, the Twitterendum will provide instantaneous data on how the news agenda impacts the mood of the "twitterati" as the campaign gathers momentum in the run-up to September 18.

The Twitterendum will provide real-time data on HeraldScotland's politics homepage until polling day, with further analysis on the impact of the news agenda available by clicking through to the dedicated Twitterendum page.

Slider tools allow users to check daily lists of our stories and the corresponding Twitter trends.

Check it out here

Grant McLennan, the Equator developer who created the Twitterendum, said: "There is a theory that there is a direct correlation between the amount of 'talk' surrounding a campaign and the number of votes that campaign receives on polling day. This method successfully predicted the US Congressional Election in 2010, an academic paper has shown..

"Though the holes in the model are obvious, the point is not necessarily to predict the results; rather it is to provide a tangible handle on the current trend of debate upon Twitter.

"I think the real interest is the connection between the news and opinion. Large shifts in opinion are usually mirrored by headline stories. It is this connection that provides insight on both the behaviour of human opinion and the accuracy of attempted opinion shifting press releases."

Equator is one of the UK's leading digital marketing agencies, employing more than 100 people at its studio in Glasgow.

The agency, which also has offices in New York city and Kiev, specialises in web design and development, SEO, PPC, social media, affiliate and display marketing, working with major brands including Disney, AXA Insurance, SSE, Tesco Bank and Malmaison.

For more information visit www.eqtr.com or call 0141 229 1800.

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