PEJ New Media Index: Bloggers Grade Obama, Revolt over Facebook

  • February 27, 2009

While traditional media were overwhelmingly focused on the economy last week, bloggers and social media were much less single minded. The No. 1 subject was still politics, in particular critiques of Obama's early performance in office, though it was a much smaller subject than in the mainstream media.

But a good many bloggers and others were also focused on a policy change made and then withdrawn at Facebook, which demonstrated the power of social media.

Topic A was discussion of how Obama was faring in his first month in office. The subject made up 16% of the links found in the New Media Index of Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism for the week of Feb. 16-20. The second-largest story, comprising 10% of the links, was the ongoing financial crisis, though the focus last week moved from the stimulus bill to such matters as the banking industry and housing crisis.

Nearly as big as the economy, however, was a subject ideal for online discussion. Fully 10% of the links were to articles about a controversy regarding the immensely popular social networking site Facebook, which changed, and then changed back, its terms of service language. The story made it into the mainstream press, but only days after it had erupted online.

Read the full report Bloggers Grade Obama, Revolt over Facebook on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.