Report

PEJ New Media Index: Bloggers Focus First on the Economy and Then on a Strange Prank

  • April 03, 2009

Following a week of focused outrage over the AIG bonuses, the economy still dominated social media. But after picking up with the latest AIG developments, the blogosphere, the week of March 23-27, moved into other areas of the economic crisis-including criticism from some on the left of President Obama.  

The economy overall was the subject of 62% of the most linked-to stories by blogs and social media sites, according to the New Media Index from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. This was down only slightly from the previous week (65%).

The next four largest subjects online were all international events, although the topics and tone differed greatly.

The second-largest story, at 12% of the links, was of a much less serious tenor, a prank a British teenager played on his parents. The 18-year-old painted a 60-foot version of a distinctive part of the male anatomy on the roof of his parents' mansion. Remarkably, no one discovered the painting for a year.

This is the second time a strange practical joke made the list of top blogger stories since PEJ began tracking social media in January. From January 26-30, a story about hackers who changed a road sign in Texas to warn of a "zombie attack" was the No. 2 topic.

Read the full report Bloggers Focus First on the Economy and Then on a Strange Prank on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.