PublicationsDecember 30, 2009

Bloggers Track the Nuances of the Health Care Debate

During a Christmas week when the Senate passed its version of health care reform, social media devoted more attention to the subject than it had at any time this year. Bloggers also focused on an international grassroots campaign. On Twitter, a Blackberry outage led the way, while on YouTube, questions about the attack on the Italian Prime Minister drew significant attention.

PublicationsDecember 17, 2009

Global Warming Debate Rages on in Social Media

Last week, bloggers gave more attention to the subject of global warming than at any time this year. And while skeptics continued to focus on “Climate-gate,” defenders were more vocal than in previous weeks. On Twitter, the growing Tiger Woods scandal earned the most attention. And on YouTube, a feisty exchange between the White House press secretary and a reporter was the most viewed news video.

PublicationsDecember 10, 2009

A Minaret Ban and “Climate-gate” Stir Online Discussions

A vote in Switzerland to ban the construction of Muslim minarets and controversies over global warming research led conversations in the blogosphere last week. On Twitter, it was a story about a local billboard campaign with unintended consequences. And on YouTube, a pop singer made her second appearance in recent weeks.

PublicationsDecember 3, 2009

A Court Martial Fuels Anger in the Blogosphere

Charges against U.S. servicemen who captured one of the most wanted men in Iraq drew major attention from the blogosphere last week. A controversial singer was the hottest topic on Twitter. And a YouTube video intended to paint an unflattering portrait of Sarah Palin supporters was viewed more than 1 million times.

PublicationsNovember 19, 2009

Health Care and Fort Hood Dominate the Blogs

The new media world divided its attention between two stories last week: the progress of health care reform in Congress and the suspect in the Fort Hood shootings. On Twitter, technology-related issues topped the agenda. And on YouTube, that soccer player just won’t go away.

PublicationsNovember 12, 2009

The Fort Hood Tragedy Highlights the Reporting Role of Social Media

The online media joined the mainstream press last week in focusing most of their attention on the killing spree at the Fort Hood Army post. Some of that conversation focused on the background and motivation of the suspect, but much also evaluated the pros and cons of real-time newsgathering.

PublicationsNovember 5, 2009

Bloggers Outraged at a Horrific Assault

A diverse mix of stories—from war policy to a scientific breakthrough—topped the news agenda in the blogosphere last week. But the dominant topic was a heinous crime that generated much more attention online than in the traditional press. On Twitter, the top subject was a very different kind of crime story.

PublicationsOctober 29, 2009

For the Second Straight Week, Bloggers Focus on Balloon Boy and Global Warming

Two subjects that didn’t generate much attention in the mainstream press last week remained hot topics in social media. The saga of six-year-old Falcon Heene and the phony balloon flight continued to provoke outrage in the blogosphere while a warning from the British Prime Minister triggered another debate over global warming.

PublicationsOctober 22, 2009

Global Warming and a Balloon Drama Drive the Online Conversation

Two different topics grabbed the attention of social media last week to an extent rarely seen in the New Media Index. On blogs, a BBC report questioning global warming triggered a mostly enthusiastic response while the strange saga of “balloon boy” led on Twitter. On YouTube, a speech by a pop singer at a political rally was the most viewed video.

PublicationsOctober 15, 2009

Email and Nobel Dominate the Blogs

For much of the week, news of an email scam that compromised thousands of passwords animated the blogosphere. Late in the week, however, the focus shifted abruptly to Barack Obama’s surprising Nobel Peace Prize. On YouTube, meanwhile, a Letterman mea culpa drew the most hits.