If there’s one thing President Obama’s good at, you would have thought, it would be harnessing the powers of new technology. He’s got the Blackberry addiction. He’s got the Twitter feeds. He’s the most tech-savvy POTUS in US history, who quite possibly wouldn’t even be doing the job he’s doing now if it weren’t for his supreme, almost Neo-like mastery of that thing we call the Interweb.
So how come he has just gone and managed to lose the most important debate of his political career so far – over health care – largely as a result of being beaten hollow by his opponents in the conservative blogosphere?
This is the question being asked by the new media monitoring organization Market Sentinel, in its latest report, pithily entitled “How Obama lost the healthcare debate online”.
“Our research suggests that Obama – the candidate who wrote the rules for achieving political success on the Internet – has lost the argument online.”
“To show this Market Sentinel took just one strand of that debate (comparisons between Obama’s proposals and the UK’s NHS service) and used citation analysis to identify who has influence in relation to the topic. For the technically minded, this means that we crawl the internet looking for pages which are about the topic, then we track mutual references between people, institutions, entities mentioned in the context. The resulting structure gives us a mathematically verifiable measurement of “authority” in the context. This analysis began on August 28th and was completed on September 3rd. We have sorted the results according to a sentiment metric where the negative quadrants represent hostility to state run healthcare (as exemplified by the NHS) and the positive quadrants show support for it.”
Note the dismal performance in terms of influence by the dead tree press. Note too – the mighty power ascribed to Telegraph blogs (led, of course, in this instance by the great Dan Hannan). OK, so we’re not exactly Fox News yet. But if Market Sentinel is to be believed, than two key points emerge:
1. The Blogosphere is now more powerful in shaping the world’s political agenda than the Dead Tree media.
2. Right wing blogs (Fox News; DT blogs, etc) trump Libtard blogs (Huffington Post, Matthew Yglesias, etc) every time.
Look carefully at the chart and you will also noticed an appearance on the right by Michael Moore. Almost certainly the first time in the man’s life he has ever been thus categorised.