Poor Mitt Romney. You'd think losing last week's election would have been enough of a kick in the teeth. But as the GOP tries to collectively sort out its troubles and figure out where it all went wrong, Mitt is suffering a new injustice: losing Facebook friends by the boatload. As in, several every minute. While he started out with so many, it looks like those who supported Romney in the election are choosing to "unlike" the candidate rather than to, say, just forget they ever liked him, kind of like all those stupid likes you make of businesses just so you can get a coupon. That is to say: people are actively clicking the "unlike" button on Romney's page.
One site has taken up the task to tracking this trend and God bless you, Disappearing Romney, for keeping the candidates honest.
Ne Jersey Gov. Chris Christie presides over a state that has suffered the bulk of the damage and destruction caused by Superstorm Sandy. The Jersey shore alone has accounted for scores of dead, millions of dollars in damage and miles of homes razed.
While federal relief pours in and private donations and efforts mount, Christie has reached out to a higher authority: Justin Bieber. He tweeted to his nearly 280,000 followers that he needs Bieber, of whom Christie's kids are "huge fans, to push people to the help line to get donations rolling for relief:
The Biebs, just shy of 30 million followers on Twitter, is working the donation angle. But no word from him yet on whether he'll join forces with Gov. Christie. It would certainly be bigger news that some simple words of appreciation for President Obama.
Gonna try to work with Red Cross to have u guys all help donate for those affected by hurricane sandy
UPDATE: Bieber to the rescue. The Canadian Prince of All Media retweeted Christie's plea, garnering at least 1,441 retweets and 734 favorites. It will be interesting to see if that leads to an outpouring of assistance though.
FiveThirtyEight and RealClearPolitics are two sites that have garnered acclaim and traffic during the election season as voters try to get a leg up of the latest prognostications. While we can't know exactly how the election will turn out, these sites have forecasting down to a science. But there's another website that could give us a peek into who will win this year's hotly contested presidential election: Google. The megabeheamoth search engine is actually a source of tremendous - and entertaining - data and some it of can actually correlate with election outcomes as Seth Stephens-Davidowitz explored at the New York Times.
While so much of the information gleaned from the search data is either ridiculous - the popularity of "Paul Ryan shirtless" - or superfluous - how the number of searches of a candidate in a region corresponds to their popularity in said area - there are some useful tidbits to be pulled for the campaigns, particularly in terms of voter turn-out. Says Stephens-Davidowitz:
If search rates for voting information were higher in the first half of October 2008 than in the first half of October 2004, voting rates tended to be higher in 2008 than in 2004. It's true for midterm elections, too. If search rates for voting information were higher in the first half of October 2010 than in the first half of October 2006, voting rates tended to be higher in 2010 than in 2006.
This predictive power was significantly stronger than that of other variables we might use to predict area-level turnout, like changes in registration rates or movement in early voting.
Of course, there's plenty of garbage to sift through as well, as Stephens-Davidowitz notes, including searches about Romney and Mormon underwear as well as Obama and racist epithets. Still, once you look past the noise, there may just be some patterns worth teasing out, adding to the stacks of numbers already being crunched for November 6.
Things are so bad in NFL fandom, that even Obama felt the need to speak out with the tweet sent to the @BarackObama feed Tuesday afternoon. Of course, any federal support on the issue would probably go a long way in the swing state of Wisconsin. Seattle is solid blue on the political map anyway.
It once was a story when politicians did use social media to get their messages across.
But a new report in The Hill focuses on the 56 members of Congress who have not joined Twitter, noting that it's increasingly the go-to place for think tanks, advocacy groups -- and politicians -- to blast out information.
"For now, the holdouts are divided almost equally between the two parties. Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) -- part of the over-60 crowd -- is the only Senate Republican still not using Twitter. Risch's office said the senator has not ruled it out.
"He certainly sees the benefit of Twitter as a social medi[um], as demonstrated by the Usain Bolt tweets during the Olympics, but less useful as a policy discussion tool," said spokesman Brad Hoaglun.
Twitter reported 80,000 tweets per minute sent when Bolt won gold in the 200-meter this summer, a social-media record for Olympic-related conversations.
Political interest on Twitter has grown in the past few years, too. Twitter reported that tweets sent about the political conventions this year had sextupled the number sent about both 2008 conventions by the second evening of the Republican National Convention.
Public pressure has been mounting on the Obama White House for weeks. We want clarity, Mr. President. Your administration owes the American people the truth. We want answers!
What is in your beer?
A social media and petition campaign to have the White House share it's recipe for its custom made homebrew beer finally paid off Saturday when Sam Kass declassified this particular state secret.
Kass, the assistant chef and senior policy advisor for healthy food initiatives, blogged about the beer, it's history - Obama is a homebrew fan it seems - and some of their secrets in development of the three signature brews offered:
Since our first batch of White House Honey Brown Ale, we've added the Honey Porter and have gone even further to add a Honey Blonde this past summer. Like many home brewers who add secret ingredients to make their beer unique, all of our brews have honey that we tapped from the first ever bee-hive on the South Lawn. The honey gives the beer a rich aroma and a nice finish but it doesn't sweeten it.
Sadly, the Honey Blonde recipe was not available. Yet. The American people won't stand for that secrecy for long.
Eastwood spent much of his unusual speech/riff/standup Thursday night at the Republican National Convention conversing with and cutting down an Invisible Obama in a chair next to him. This being the age of Twitter, it didn't take long for an @InvisibleObama to crop up to carry on the conversation.
When Mitt Romney says "Mr. Chairman", do you think he's referring to me?
And, of course, the inevitable meme cropped up - Eastwooding. Or, #eastwooding, if you prefer, which is basically a bunch of folks uploading pictures of them talking to their chairs. A bunch of photos and tweets on the meme can be found here.