Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Scandal sells

Since starting at Live Labs I've gotten to play with a lot of data, including the political Usenet and crawled memeorandum hourly data (since mid-September 2005, following Katrina). Today I came across something less-than-surprising.

Top 10 links on memeorandum according to most number of 'discussion' links-- that is, number of discussions (usually blogged) that are related to a parent story (usually news).

"For McCain, Self-Confidence on Ethics Poses its Own Risk" [McCain and scandals] 219

"Spitzer is Linked to Prostitution Ring" 178

"Embattled Attorney General Resigns" [Gonzales and scandals] 170

[Text of Obama's race speech] 158

"NSA has massive database of Americans' phone calls" 129

"The Long Run-Up" [McCain and scandal] 119

"Craig Arrested, Pleads Guilty Following Incident in Airport Restroom" 116

"US Web Primer Is Said to Reveal a Nuclear Primer" [Iraq and Nukes] 115

"Digging Out More CNN/Youtube Plants" [Youtube politics and staged debates] 115

"Dark Suspicions About the NIE" [Iran and Nukes] 107

So, for the most part, what sells is sex and violence.


Akshay Java said...

This is really cool! Do you also have access to Techmeme data? Wonder what sells there? I bet the MICROHOO story would be the top deal.

Mary McGlohon said...

Great idea! I'm fetching the data now.

In the meantime, I'm going to bet on the Hans Reiser case.