President Obama “maintained the top spot” among world leaders on Twitter per number of followers, having added 15 million followers during an election year. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, in second place, added two million followers. Turkish President Abdullah Gül also added two millon followers and sits at third.
Alex Fitzpatrick, Mashable. You Can Tweet at 75% of the World’s Leaders.
See the above link for a detailed account of world leaders on Twitter. Obama, whose post-election victory photo became the most retweeted post in history, leads by number of followers.
But that isn’t necessarily surprising. What is surprising is the number of non-democratic, “instable” nations that have a leader online. While they appear near the bottom by popularity, there are many Central Asian and African governments that, until recently, have largely viewed social media as a threat.
Also interesting: who isn’t on Twitter. For one, there’s China’s Xi Jinping, who doesn’t want his citizens on the site, or Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. And, sorry to say, the Dragon King of Bhutan is nowhere to be found.
As I indicated at the outset, this is the beginning of a serious conversation. We won’t be taking questions today.
Much of the criticism of the American media during the height of the Iraq War focused on its role repeating White House talking points and propaganda. But using the tools of social media, as Israel is doing, reveals there’s no longer a need to rely a media middleman, or to filter the raw feed of war through an “embedded” — and, military officials hope, captured — journalist’s mouth or keyboard. The military can broadcast exactly what it wants to, directly to its citizens, allies, and enemies. The IDF even appropriates the language of news, prefacing several tweets with “BREAKING” — and native social media, at one point saying “in case you missed it” before pointing to a YouTube video of it killing Ahmed Jabari in a missile strike. And unlike any propaganda machine before it, it’s inherently viral. It’s designed to spread. So the IDF spokesperson provides posters and YouTube videos and a constantly updated Flickr account; they’re more shareable than plain text. Its tweets are a mixture of documentation, saber rattling, sober reminders of the reality of war, and upbeat updates on the advanced state of its technology. All delivered direct to you. Please RT…
…Most importantly, though, consider this: A country can declare that it is at war with Twitter. If that doesn’t make the internet real, I don’t know what does.
The [New York] Times does not release traffic figures, but a spokesperson said yesterday that [Nate] Silver’s blog provided a significant—and significantly growing, over the past year—percentage of Times pageviews. This fall, visits to the Times’ political coverage (including FiveThirtyEight) have increased, both absolutely and as a percentage of site visits. But FiveThirtyEight’s growth is staggering: where earlier this year, somewhere between 10 and 20 percent of politics visits included a stop at FiveThirtyEight, last week that figure was 71 percent.
But Silver’s blog has buoyed more than just the politics coverage, becoming a signifiant traffic-driver for the site as a whole. Earlier this year, approximately 1 percent of visits to the New York Times included FiveThirtyEight. Last week, that number was 13 percent. Yesterday, it was 20 percent. That is, one in five visitors to the sixth-most-trafficked U.S. news site took a look at Silver’s blog.
Marc Tracy, The New Republic. Nate Silver Is a One-Man Traffic Machine for the Times.
Takeaway: Stat nerds have clout.