Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Twitter Research at APSA...

A dominant trend at the American Political Science Association (APSA) Conference in Seattle last week was the number of research studies currently being performed on the role of Twitter in politics. Of course Twitter is significant, it was just interesting how many political science studies are now focused on it (just as Facebook was an equally dominant focus of research a few years ago).

Without breaking down the numerous panels and presentations in detail, I thought it might at least be worth noting a few of the statistics that caught my eye...

  • Republicans are dramatically adopting and using Twitter more than Democrats.

  • Congressmen's freshman-level status and age DO matter in terms of Twitter use, however education levels and how affluent their constituencies are DO NOT matter.

  • The political party in the minority uses Twitter more (both in the U.S. and in Great Britain).

  • During the 2010 campaign, 76% of "political tweets" promoted a candidate versus 34% of TV ads; 18% of tweets attacked a candidate versus 37% of TV ads; Only 4% of tweets contrasted two candidates versus 24% of TV ads.

  • The most "elite" or "influential" politicians on Twitter (as measured by algorithm):

    1. Sarah Palin
    2. Anthony Weiner
    3. Newt Gingrich
    4. Marco Rubio
    5. Gabrielle Giffords
    6. Nancy Pelosi
    7. Arnold Schwarzenegger

  • Who is following the politicians on Twitter? Average age 36; Race 88% white; 94% of them voted in the 2010 election; "Off-the-charts" in terms of political knowledge.
And just two quick WOW stats that are non-Twitter-related...
  • One in every 500 people in the U.S. is a "political blogger".

  • In 2010, 22% of Internet users used Social Media for political purposes.

There's an awful lot more in the pipeline...


At 10:24 AM, Blogger Robert J. Domanski said...

From Chenfei Zhang -

I can’t agree with you more on the more and more important role of Twitter in politics.

I think you might find this Newsy video about this interesting:

It‘s about the latest news that Twitter has started selling political ads to some of the major presidential candidates. And it discussed about how the candidates are using tweets, and also raised concern about the ability of candidates using this technology well.


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