"The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable." It is one of those quotes I will always remember, for it stared down at me on my first shift working on Radio 4's The World Tonight about 13 years ago. As an emigre from Radio 5 Live, I was rather more used to seeing the fantasy football league pinned to a pillar, than the weighty intellectual musings of an economist.
The Conservatives have gained control of five councils and Labour have lost two in the first sets of results from local and mayoral elections. Among Tory gains is Lincolnshire, where UKIP lost all of its seats in what one senior UKIP politician described as a "very disappointing" result. A senior Lib Dem said their results had been "patchy" and they are out of the mayoral race in the West of England. Many authorities, including all those in Scotland, will not begin counting until Friday morning.
If the final result to be declared in these local elections, much, much later today, is the summit of the electoral mountain, this morning we are barely above sea level. Flip flops on, we are still on the beach. But for those of us up all night to witness the nocturnal arithmetic, clear trends began to emerge very quickly. Let's be more specific: Tories will rejoice on the basis of the results we have so far.
Muck Rack makes it simple to find people, tweets, or articles that mention any name, keyword, company, hashtag etc. We've compiled this guide to help you make the most of your search.
Selecting a term
Start searching tweets, articles from media outlets, articles mentioned in tweets, journalists'
names, titles and bios with some suggested searches:
Companies or Topics (e.g. iPhone, Microsoft)
Phrases (e.g. "cloud computing") — use quotes to keep the terms together
Twitter handles (e.g. @username) — returns those who have mentioned or replied to
Names (e.g. "David Pogue")
Hashtags (e.g. #sxsw, #london2012)
Bio details (e.g. vegan, Olympics, father)
Muck Rack's Advanced Search allows for many boolean operators.
Find results that mention multiple specified terms, use AND or
+. For example, ensure each result contains both Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg by
searching Obama AND Romney or Obama + Romney.
Use the operators OR or , to broaden your search when you'd like either of
multiple terms to appear in results. (This is the default behavior of our search when no operators
are used.) For example, search for democrat OR republican to find results that refer to
Democrats and/or Republicans.
Use NOT or - to subtract results from your search. For
example, searching Disney will yield results about the Walt Disney Company as well as Walt Disney
World Resort. To exclude mentions of Disney World, search for Disney -World or Disney
When using one of these operators with a phrase, enclose it in quotation marks. For example, you can
find results about smartphones excluding Apple's iPhone 4S by searching smartphone -"iPhone
Exact case matching or punctuation
If you're searching for a brand name or keyword that relies on specific punctuation marks or capitalization, you can
find results that match your exact query by adding matchcase: before the keyword you're searching for, like matchcase:E*TRADE .
Use parentheses to separate multiple
boolean phrases. For example, to find journalists talking about having fun in Disney World or
Disneyland, search for ("disney world" OR disneyland) AND fun.
An asterisk can be used to search for any variation of a root word truncated by the asterisk. For example, searching for admin* will return results for administrator, administration, administer, administered, etc.
A near operator is an AND operator where you can control the distance between the words. You can vary the distance the near operation uses by adding a forward slash and number (between 0-99) such as strawberries NEAR/10 "whipped cream", which means the strawberries must exist within 10 words of "whipped cream".