Now we're getting somewhere. The Cloud of Knowing project has 4 components at present (though you might want to challenge and amend this this coming Thursday)
1/ content identification and retrieval - to a wiki or friendfeed type place
2/ Tagging probably working alongside respondents
3/ Grading (probably working alongide respondents
4/ web user profiling - the ability to guess who people are without having to ask them.
Here's a little gem from No 4 which I picked up this week from Andrew Walmesley's Marketing column
Check out http://www.hackerfactor.com/GenderGuesser.html#Analyze a simple free tool which you can paste some text you've written into it and it will guess your gender. (thought I do like the get out clause they put: Weak emphasis could indicate European. Welcome news for eurosceptics!
Now this is a very basic idea but clearly if there are a series of tools which with reasonable confidence can establish not only demographic iidentity (which is hard) then behavioural profiling is in the bag because it is much easier. What I mean by this is pattern of site visiting, location, level of IT expertise, what they find interesting, what bores them. Those are much easier to guesstimate.
So if these tools work and we have a big enough data set for each web poster we follow, it is possible that we could identify a group of blog/website posters by topic and then use the tools to construct a sample frame.Yes? What do you think?