New Media Index: Bloggers Down on Obama, Tweeters Down on Apple iPhone 4

Bloggers were fixated on a poll in The Washington Post showing that confidence in President Barack Obama to make the right decision is falling, while Twitter users ripped into a rotten Apple, and the most-viewed news and politics video on YouTube was Paul the octopus correctly predicting Spain’s victory over the Netherlands in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism’s New Media Index for the week of July 12-16.
The poor poll results for Obama accounted for 20 percent of news links shared by bloggers, followed by: the heat wave on the East Coast, at 14 percent; the “panic button” on Facebook UK, which allows users aged 13-18 to report online abuse such as inappropriate sexual content, cyber-bullying, and hacking attempts to the UK Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre and the social-networking site, at 13 percent; the passage of a bill by France’s National Assembly, banning the Islamic full veil in public, at 11 percent; and President Obama’s debt and deficit commission calling current budgetary trends “a cancer that will destroy the country from within” at 8 percent.
Criticism of Apple’s handling of reception problems for its iPhone 4 accounted for 16 percent of Tweeted news links, followed by: BP’s containment of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig spill in the Gulf of Mexico, also at 16 percent; a Fox News story suggesting that felons may have voted illegally in the 2008 Minnesota Senate election, at 8 percent; a Wired story about the phenomenon of “i-dosing,” which involves using a digital sound file that purportedly produces effects similar to illegal drugs, at 7 percent; and the Facebook panic button, also at 7 percent.

The soccer-picking octopus was followed on YouTube’s list of most-viewed news and politics videos by: a Russia Today report on Paul the octopus; raw video from the Associated Press of celebrations in Madrid following Spain’s win; another Russia Today report on Paul, this time on the death threats the creature received following his prediction; and yet more Paul from Russia Today, raw video of his prediction for the third-place game, in which he correctly chose Germany over Uruguay.


david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.