I was surprised to see this article by ABC News just a few heartbeats before the election, an un-named reporter riffs off my blog post cataloging Obama vs McCain social networking stats:
“A social network researcher says you can expect Barack Obama to win the election. Analyzing the candidates social networking pages, Jermiah Owyang found Obama has more supporters than John McCain.
According to Ownyang’s research, Obama almost 4 times the number of supporters on facebook.com & myspace.com.
Ownyang cites two reasons for the difference. “[The] Obama campaign moved quicker to social networking and social media, McCain only recently launched his own social network with KickApps.”
He also says Obama supporters are also much more likely to use social networking sites.”
As much as I would love to be a political analyst, I cannot take credit for predicting the election results, so the first sentence isn’t quite accurate. There’s likely a correlation between social network activity, but it’s certainly not a causation of the win happening –nor can it be an accurate indicator of political outcomes as the sample size doesn’t take into account the average voter. Furthermore. it’s amazing my name was incorrectly spelled, not once –but twice.
In the true spirit of the crowd, the commenters in the article actually self-correct, a trend we often see on blog posts. Perhaps a future social mechanism could be developed that let’s them edit (or suggest edits) to keep the article accurate and helpful.