Social Media, Traditional Media & Election 2008

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1 + Social Media, Traditional Media & Election 2008 Emily Metzgar ~ SNCR Fellow, Indiana University Albert Maruggi ~ SNCR Sr. Fellow, Provident Partners

2 + Historic Election First African-American major party candidate First credible female candidate in the primaries First female VP nominee for GOP

3 First election to resurrect a dying late night comedy show +

4 + About This Research First national election with active social media & the ability to track it Opportunity to compare social media with traditional media coverage of same topics/personalities/issues Radian6 as one tool to track & assess social media & traditional media We offer findings from a first, exploratory look at differences between social media & traditional media during the election

5 + Why Consider Social Media? Students Got Election News from Social Media Propelled by Internet, Barack Obama Wins Presidency Blogged Down in the Past Obama Won the Election Not Social Media Social Media Lessons from Election 2008 Election Day 2008: The Best Blogs & Social Media Resources

6 + Cause Célèbre Obama Girl 11.6 million views Yes We Can I.will.am 13 million views McCain Campaign Celeb Envy Ads

7 + Observations on Campaign 2008 The problem with the McCain campaign was not the age of the candidate. It was the age of the ideas dominating the campaign. ~Arianna Huffington

8 + SNL & Sarah Palin Now is Forever Sarah Palin SNL YouTube search Page 1 = 44 million views SNL has political agenda Chevy Chase on Ford Now SNL lives on-demand

9 + Comparing Mentions Traditional media 09/04/08 11/03/08 Social Media 09/04/08 11/03/08 Candidate mentions McCain: 143,611 Obama: 160, 207 Biden: 20,834 Palin: 84, 714 Candidate mentions McCain: 275,780 Obama: 271,400 Biden: 266,523 Pailn: 270,266

10 + McCain & Related Topics Social Media Traditional Media

11 + Obama & Related Topics Social Media Traditional Media

12 + Comparison: Traditional Media McCain Obama

13 + Comparison: Social Media McCain Obama

14 + Palin & Related Topics Social Media Traditional Media

15 + Biden & Related Topics Social Media Traditional Media

16 + Comparison: Traditional Media Palin Biden

17 + Comparison: Social Media Palin Biden

18 + Comparing Mentions Traditional Media Social Media 09/04/08 11/03/08 09/04/08 11/03/08 Topic mentions Iran: 34, 316 American economy: 204,258 Joe the Plumber: 8176 Afghanistan: 66,774 Iraq: 86,458 Topic mentions Iran: 130,015 American economy: 16,191 Joe the Plumber: 46,178 Afghanistan: 125,650 Iraq: 280,473

19 + Iran & Related Mentions Social Media Traditional Media

20 + Trends in Iran Social Media Traditional Media

21 + Economy & Related Mentions Social Media Traditional Media

22 + Trends in Economy Social Media Traditional Media

23 + Joe the Plumber & Related Mentions Social Media Traditional Media

24 + Trends in Joe the Plumber Social Media Traditional Media

25 + Afghanistan & Related Mentions Social Media Traditional Media

26 + Trends in Afghanistan Social Media Traditional Media

27 + Iraq & Related Mentions Social Media Traditional Media

28 + Trends in Iraq Social Media Traditional Media

29 + Social Media as a Movement Information Exchange Freedom Voice Isn t Social Media about Connecting?

30 + Preliminary Findings Social media wasn t about advertising a campaign message; it was about offering a mechanism for ongoing engagement. Is the medium the message? (McLuhan). CV suggests yes. Evidence suggests no. To the extent that SM got young voters to engaged in the campaign and to show up on Election Day, it played a role in the election outcome. Although scale varied considerably, priority given to topics in TM was typically an accurate reflection of topics in SM. And vice versa.

31 + Preliminary Findings Possible exceptions: Issue that appears to have arisen from SM to TM was issue of Sarah Palin s daughter s pregnancy The life cycle of debate-generated sound bites was typically short (see that one, can I call you Joe?, John is right & Joe the Plumber ) On big issues, SM & TM merge together. Why? Big issues merge, smaller issues just don t register Traditional media so focused on covering social media, that it becomes a picture of me looking at me looking at me looking at me.

32 + Preliminary Findings TM so plugged in, hard for an issue to emerge unnoticed in SM On a related note, with the presidential election campaign actually very few issues that the campaigns were focused on, therefore from day-to-day, no dramatic deviation from major issues and associated talking points From a topic perspective, SM not dramatically different than TM. From an organization and money standpoint, however, it was huge.

33 + Preliminary Findings The Internet and social media caused the death of Karl Rove politics, by changing the nature of the environment in which the campaign was conducted (Arianna Huffington) Social media was a necessary -- but not sufficient -- factor in Senator Obama s election victory Other factors included characteristics of party hierarchy, ideas & issues at center of respective campaigns, and distance or lack thereof from current administration The 1960 vs comparison: 1960: Television gave power to campaigns 2008: Social media helps retake some of it 1960 & 2008: New media attracts & engages new populations

34 + New Questions Does one source drive more of the discussion and coverage? Is one source more influential than the other? Are the two sources more alike than different? What kinds of issues/themes emerge in traditional media then migrate into social media? And the reverse? Is quality or quantity more important? Incoming & outgoing links Comments Size & composition of audience Overall buzz

35 + Contact Information Emily Metzgar Assistant Professor IU School of Journalism Albert Maruggi President, Provident Partners Twitter: emilym123

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