PEJ New Media Index: The Eyjafjallajoekull Effect Leads the Blogosphere Again

  • April 29, 2010

For the second week in a row, the travel delays caused by the Icelandic volcano that spewed ash in the skies over Europe were the lead subject on blogs. And in an illustration of how news can be personalized in social media, a good deal of the commentary included individual experiences from people directly affected by the grounded fights.

For the week of April 19-23, more than a quarter (28%) of the week's links on blogs were about the Icelandic volcano and the related travel problems according to the New Media Index from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. That more than doubled the attention to the story the previous week (13% of the links), when the volcano finished in a three-way tie for the lead topic.

The aftermath of the Eyjafjallajoekull eruption was also very popular on YouTube last week, accounting for three of the five most watched news videos. And it was the No. 2 story in mainstream media last week, overshadowed by coverage of the economy.

The trajectory of the online conversation surrounding the eruption began with bloggers sharing their own circumstances of being stranded due to air travel restrictions caused by the eruption. Then, as the week progressed, some questioned whether the decision by European governments to cancel flights was the proper way to handle the situation. And once flight travel began to resume, interest in the story diminished noticeably.

Read the full report The Eyjafjallajoekull Effect Leads the Blogosphere Again on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.