A Forgotten Cron Job Leads to Interesting Results
On January 1, 2016 I set up a cron job to perform a daily count of the number of Twitter followers of the two main Gubernatorial candidates in Washington State: Jay Inslee and Bill Bryant. I was not attempting to predict the election or do anything with the data, I just wanted to count followers until Election Day 2016 and hopefully plot some interesting results. I checked on Election Day and the trend lines remained pretty much the same as they did at the start of the year so I abandonded my idea. Today I was cleaning out my crontab file and I found that the cron job was still running. I added a solid line for the 2016 Election Day and dashed line for the 2017 Presidential Inauguration.
To me, the follower count data after the inauguration is the most interesting but it is just count data and I am not sure how much you can really read into it. If anything, forgetting the cron job was a pleasant surprise that reminded me of this guy who took a screenshot of the New York Times frontpage everyday for 5 years YouTube.