New Media Index: Bloggers Sip from Tea Party Cup; Twitter Sends iPhone, HD Video Camera Into Space

Bloggers attended a Tea Party during the week of Oct. 18-22, while Tweeters took to the sky with an iPhone and HD video camera, and the most-watched news and politics video on YouTube featured unidentified flying objects over midtown Manhattan, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism’s New Media Index.

Delaware Republican Senate candidate and Tea Party member Christine O’Donnell’s comments during a debate Oct. 19 represented the top subject of news links shared by bloggers, at 17 percent. It was followed by: an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times by former Yukos (Russian oil company) head Mikhail Khodorkovsky, at 14 percent; more Tea Party fun, with former Alaska Gov. and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin saying her supporters can’t “party like it’s 1773” until Washington is full of like-minded conservatives, at 8 percent; an op-ed in The Washington Post by Michael Gerson accusing President Barack Obama of being an “intellectual snob,” also at 8 percent; and NPR’s firing of Juan Williams, at 8 percent, as well.

Twitter was abuzz with a Mashable item about an iPhone and an HD video camera being launched 100,000 feet into the atmosphere by a weather balloon, which accounted for 11 percent of Tweeted links. It was followed by four other items from Mashable: its report that eBay relies on PayPal for 37 percent of its revenue, at 9 percent; Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs on the state of Apple and its competitors, at 8 percent; an item on why most music startups are destined for failure, at 7 percent; and a report that Facebook changed its algorithm to ensure that exes no long appear in its Photo Memories box, at 7 percent.

The midtown Manhattan UFO sighting was followed on the list of most-viewed YouTube news and politics videos by: Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns’ “It Gets Better” video; Jimmy McMillan of the Rent Is Too Damn High party in a New York gubernatorial debate; Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar walking off the stage during Bill O’Reilly’s appearance on The View; and a video from German comedy group Die Aussenseiter.