New Media Index: Bloggers Ponder Midterm Elections; Tweeters Ponder Twitter

Bloggers were focused on the upcoming midterm elections during the week of Oct. 4-8, while Twitter users used Twitter to talk about Twitter, and the most-watched news and politics video on YouTube was A fake news video from the Onion News Network saying that Justin Bieber is a pedophile, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism’s New Media Index.

The most-shared news links by bloggers were tied to two items from The Washington Post, one about interest groups spending far more during this election cycle than in 2008, and the other on how the political landscape remains strongly tilted toward Republicans. They were followed by: a story from the Los Angeles Times on how more than $69 million in California welfare money was spent outside the state in recent years, at 12 percent; an op-ed in USA Today by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) saying that tea party populism is driven by anger at the government and divides the country, at 11 percent; another USA Today story about $162 million in stimulus spending not disclosed by the government, also at 11 percent; and a column in The Washington Post by Steven Pearlstein in which he argued that Republicans ignore the idea that income inequality exists in the country in their “Pledge to America,” at 10 percent.

A total of 19 percent of Tweeted news links were related to Twitter itself, including an item from Mashable on new ways to customize Twitter backgrounds and a report from CNET on co-founder Evan Williams vacating his CEO role. Twitter on Twitter was followed by: Facebook at 18 percent, including Mashable‘s live updates from the Facebook Groups announcement and a CNET story titled, “What Did Facebook Really Just Announce?; a CNN item on Verizon Communications awarding refunds to some 15 million customers due to incorrect data-usage charges, at 7 percent; a post by the BBC on U.K.-based bakery Greggs seeing increased sales due to demand for breakfast food, at 6 percent; and an interview with Warren Buffett on CNNMoney, at 4 percent.

The Bieber pedophile gag was followed on the list of most-viewed news and politics videos on YouTube by: The Daily Beast’s video of then-CNN’s Rick Sanchez calling Jon Stewart a bigot; Brasilia mayoral candidate Weslian Roriz stumbling through a televised debate; an Italian opposition politician verbally attacking Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi; and an installment of The Philip DeFranco Show focusing on Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers University student who committed suicide.