reply to post by mister.old.school
Excellent thread mister.old.school
I don't think the fact that the media grossly affects personal decision making is something in any way contentious, this is something we've known
about for a long time. What I do find disturbing from these data however is that this control is being extended into the internet.
A previous poster (Anonymous) raised the concern over causality, I agree that these trends clearly indicate a causal relationship between google
search queries and internet media coverage, but one very important piece of information which these trends leave out, and cannot account for, is the
exact purpose of these queries which have, quite clearly, resulted from media atention.
Everytime I log onto the net there are a few routine stops I need to make before going abouts my particular business, and a few of those stops include
a bunch of high-profile media sites, such as BBC news. I normally go through the headlines picking out interesting things, and as soon as I find
something which sounds in any way dubious or in need of closer inspection, I will do a bit of digging. Obviously this involves Googling things.
Now what does that say about my search queries on Google Trends? Surely you cannot say that merely because people are doing searches on McCain as a
result of press coverage they have therefore made any positive associations with the object of the coverage.
You would probably respond to this by pointing out that in the case of Ron Paul it is irrelevant whether associations are positive or not, people
merely sropped him from their political radars and assumed him to be irrelevant.
This brings me to my next point. You claim that the high volumes of RP search queries precluding the mass coverage turning point of the big three,
during which RP queries petered out, is not the result of a mere 'blogger bubble', but was directly the result of being drowned out by other news
I don't think this correlation is so clear. I agree that internet usage is tremendous among adult populations in the US, but that does not mean that
RP search queries are going to be distributed evenly among the entire demographic. A certain population of RP suporters, or merely interested parties,
may have gone through a period of high excitement over the prospect of this candidate who seemingly did not fit the mold. People within this group of
internet users could have been spreading links on social networking sites, blogs etc. creating a brief period of investigation into this fellow. A
period of investigation which was resolved after the investigation hd been completed. People for whatever may just have lost interest independent of
lack of media attention.
One statistic which would be very interesting to see is to what extent internet media coverage corresponds to coverage of orthodox media such as
newspapers and television.