Public health case study: Tracking zombies and vampires using social media

Preview of Strata Santa Clara 2013 Session

Towards the end of 2012, a battle that the pitted state versus state, father versus son, wife versus Bunco group, dog versus cat, finally reached a truce spawned by the treaty we all sign every fours years known as the presidential election. While the death match between red versus blue states has finally faded from our televisions and twitter feeds, we can now focus on the real issues of the day.

Longer then Romney’s candidacy bid for the white house, there has been a war going on in America, an undeath match of sorts between Zombies and Vampires. Like a flu pandemic sweeping the nation, the undead have been infiltrating our lives in every aspect. What traditionally was only a mild outbreak in October has turned into a year round epidemic that our society cannot seem to shake.

Argus Insights, Inc. has teamed up with the Center for Undead Control, the CUDC, to track the spread of the undead epidemic by leveraging Argus’ proprietary analytics platform in mining social data. Already bearing fruit, this collaboration has identified which states are most at risk for either succumbing to the Zombie Apocalypse or submitting to our new Vampire overlords. Given that Vampires feed on the oxygenated blood of the living, their advancement is represented by red states. As Zombies continue to wander without active hemoglobin in their veins, their onslaught is represented by blue states.

Feland_RedVsBlueCropped (1)

As you can see from the map Vampires have clear leadership in the deep South, part of the corn belt and the upper Northeast. Given the voodoo stronghold of New Orleans, it is no surprise they would seek to take Louisiana as soon as possible. The Rust Belt and our nation’s capitol are under clear control of the Zombie Hordes. Some would say that the success of Vampires in traditionally blue states supports the assertion that liberals are sucking the life from our economy. Others would see the Zombie dominance in many red states and would opine this supports the theory that conservative voters are just a mindless horde. Surprisingly, California, long known to be the source of infection vectors for both camps is still a key battle ground state, as are Florida, Wisconsin and New York.

What is driving the most successful infection vectors? Will Warm Bodies finally make Twilight fade into the twilight of our memories? What do we know about Walking Dead fans compared to those hanging on every moment of Vampire Diaries. In an effort to aid the CUDC in predicting who might be likely victims, Argus Insights has been applying proprietary social epidemiological methods to build a fuller picture of who is at risk. Are those under the sway of Vampires more likely to drive Volvos, drink PBR and listen to Carly Rae Jepsen. Are the citizens that already have Zombie bites festering on their thighs more likely to use an iPhone to call for help (what happens when you ask Siri how to treat a zombie bite?) or clean out their bloodstains with Tide?

By attending Strata 2013 in Santa Clara, CA Feb 26 – 28, you can take steps to save the lives of the ones you love and hear the results of our work with the CUDC at the session entitled “Public Health Case Study: Tracking Zombies and Vampires using Social Media” on 27 Feb at 11:30AM. Come hear Argus Insights CEO, John Feland, conduct a public health service announcement of what we have learned about this terrible and pervasive threat to our nation.

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