First off, you in the back, thinking about making a viral pun in the comments: We’ve got sticks. We’ve got a burlap sack. We can find you. Anyway, dynamic map company Ersi has debuted a tool that’s useful for tracking the flu, and also showing that there’s a distinct limit to the power of social media. But not the power of schadenfreude!
To be fair, Ersi’s map pulls data from the Centers for Disease Control, showing each state’s flu risk. And a lot of the information it pulls from social networks is, if nothing else, an interesting mix of people honestly sharing what it’s like to be sick, videos of news reports posted to YouTube, and photos uploaded to Flickr. On the other hand, it also pulls tweets like this…
I GOT FEVER AND THE ONLY CURE IS MOAR KYRIE! RT @sethdavishoops: Kyrie only had 40 tonight. Must’ve been the flu.
— Notorious Wojo (@NotoriousWojo) January 23, 2013
having the stomach flu the night before first day of classes…. cool. brb, puking while tweeting.
— Jenelle Hayden (@jenellekrysten) January 23, 2013
Yeah, there are a lot of tweets along those lines.
We guess it puts a human face on what’s actually a pretty serious flu epidemic. But the CDC just might be a bit more useful of a resource.