August 28th, 2008 by Sten Franke
ethority analyzed around 90,000 authentic user opinions found in forums, blogs and news sites concerning the two candidates running for president of the USA. German-, English- and Spanish-speaking contributions on the internet were evaluated and show that the democratic candidate Barack Obama has a greater buzz (percentage) compared to his republican competitor John McCain. However, in terms of sentiment, especially among German- and Spanish-speaking internet users, McCain and Obama are nip and tuck. Buzz-wise both candidates’ scores are almost even throughout English-speaking contributions on the web.
Never before has a US presidential election attracted that much attention and raised such an interest in Germany, as it is the case today. One of the most crucial reasons most likely to cause this effect is its strong presence on the internet. Both campaigns actively use web 2.0 services such as forums, blogs and social networks to get their “word” across. But what campaign related topics are discussed most frequently on the web and how do internet users react to or reflect those topics? How high is the buzz on the internet concerning the two candidates? Are there differences across various language areas when it comes to user opinions of Obama and McCain and their political views?
This buzz analysis shows that campaign managers in the US are not only aware of the change of social media consumption but anticipate it. User generated communication channels are used in the USA, as well as in German- and Spanish-speaking communities, to discuss political topics related to the upcoming presidential election this November. This change of media usage should inspire German campaign managers to follow this example. If the big German parties still want to reach their voters in the future, they have to make room in their campaigns and integrate digital communication channels, because they constitute an unprecedented opportunity to participate in the decision-making process. Internet users have long reached beyond classic forms of media such as print and TV. While it was hard to form a political opinion aside from traditional media and the circle of family and friends before there was web 2.0, YouTube & Co. provide a platform with exponential growth where opinions are formed and decisions are made.
August 14th, 2008 by Sten Franke
At the moment ethority is working on a study about the US presidential elections 2008. Our database for this study is a compilation of user opinions found in social media such as forums, weblogs and newssites.
These user opinions concern the two candidates Barack Obama and John McCain in general, as well as their image, climate protection, immigration policy and campaign topics such as education, trade, health, foreign and security policy. Since this is an international matter, we will account for English speaking as well as German and Spanish speaking internet users. Our crawler technology searches for all relevant user postings, verifies and categorizes them automatically.
The Financial Times Germany (FTD) will be presenting this study exclusively for the German market in August. Moreover, to accompany this study, we interviewed Stefan Prystawik (Republicans Abroad) and Shari Temple (Democrats Abroad) and produced a podcast focusing on campaign strategies 2.0 in the USA. The podcasts will soon be available on our Website.
Another highly interesting project we are working on at the moment, is a CEO reputation index of the Fortune 500. In collaboration with manager magazin, ethority already conducted a similar study focusing on the “German” Fortune 500.
Now, we are looking for a partner outside of Germany who is interested in presenting a social media study. Of course, we are open to further suggestions and appreciate new ideas. You can contact me directly at Fiana.de.Guzman(at)ethority.de
I am looking forward to hearing from you.
Fiana de Guzman