23 October 2008

For a Few Short Days It Was All About ‘Joe the Plumber’ in the Blogs

By Glenn Fannick
Dow Jones Insight Staff

We thought it would take a lot to kick “change” out of the No. 1 slot of the most used hot-button term this election. But we would not have predicted a plumber would seal the deal. The sudden rise of “Joe the Plumber,” the nation’s newly crowned everyman who challenged Obama at one of his rallies and who the McCain camp has raised to symbol status, burst on the scene after the third debate and topped “change” in mentions in the social media during the period October 13 to October 19.

In the same period, “Joe” climbed to No. 2 in the mainstream media.

In both the press and in social media, Joe saw a large burst and a noticeable decline in the days that followed the debate. Daily volumes of “Joe” are running at about 33% what they were on the day after the debate. So this is a drop, but Joe does still have legs.

Meanwhile Obama’s attempt to label McCain “erratic” didn’t quite take off in the social media space. It settles into the fifth slot this week, never making it to the lofty heights of the once mighty “elitism,” which is now at No. 9.

And while “electability” has slipped out of the top 10 in social media, its sister, “experience,” holds onto the forth slot this week. Experience may be two steps above “celebrity” but it’s no “hope,” which is at No. 3 this week.

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