Thursday, March 10, 2005

Blog analysis from Election '04

There is a research paper out (16 pages, pdf) that tries to analyze how political blogs of the right and left behaved during the presidential election, especially how they interlinked.

The paper is put together by Lada Adamic of HP Labs and Natalie Glance of Intelliseek Applied Research Center.

I haven't read it all, but a couple of things jumped out:
  • Liberals were more prolific bloggers
  • But conservatives were more likely to interlink among themselves
  • Showing the dependence on "mainstream media" however, those interlinks wer far less than the number of links to MSM sites (after all, gotta have some fodder to start fulminating on, right?)
Here's Adamic and Glance's quick summary:
In our study we witnessed a divided blogosphere: liberals and conservatives linking primarily within their separate communities, with far fewer cross-links exchanged between them. This division ex-tended into their discussions, with liberal and conservative blogs focusing on different news articles, topics, and political figures. An interesting pattern that emerged was that conservative bloggers were more likely to link to other blogs: primarily other conservative blogs, but also some liberal ones. But while the conservative blogosphere was more densely linked, we did not detect a greater uniformity in the news and topics discussed by conservatives.

One of the things they say they want to do is further research into "independent" blogs -- few of them showed up in the lists Adamic and Glance used -- to see if they somehow bridge between the right and left.

Kevin Drum at Washington Monthly had some further comments.

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