20 Oct

Does political affiliation matter for Twitter use?

My friend PJ Rey tweeted that it appeared, based on Pew Internet data, that Democrats were 50% more likely (18%) to be on Twitter than Republicans (12%).

But, I tweet-pleaded with him, Democrats are younger, amongst other important sociodemographic differences, and that was likely to explain the differences. I then made my usual call for multivariate analysis.

INTERNET USERS ONLY (with missing values of refused and don’t know removed):

First, about Twitter use — 8.2% of all people (in this sample, American adult Internet users) used Twitter yesterday and 6.7% used Twitter (but not yesterday), and 84.8% do not use Twitter. So already we’re dealing with a pretty small group.

But that being said…

Regarding political party affiliation,

Used Twitter yesterday:
5.4% of Republicans
11.4% of Democrats
7.9% of Independents

Used Twitter, but not yesterday:
5.5% of Republicans
9.1% of Democrats
6.8% of Independents

And yes, these are statistically significant differences.

When asked about party leaning (more toward Republican or Democrat)

9.5% of those leaning Republican used Twitter yesterday; 7.9% of those leaning Democrat used Twitter yesterday

7.2% of those leaning Republican used Twitter, but not yesterday; 9.0% of those learning Democrat used Twitter, but not yesterday

These were NOT statistically significantly different.

Then asked about ideology (very conservative, conservative, moderate, liberal, or very liberal)

Used Twitter yesterday:
7.8% of very conservative; 6.0% of conservative; 6.7% moderate; 13.4% liberal; 10.8% very liberal

Used Twitter, but not yesterday:
3.8% of very conservative; 6.3% of conservative; 7.9% moderate; 6.7% liberal; 10.8% very liberal

Statistically significant differences here again.

But let’s recall that people aren’t randomly distributed into different political leanings.

And yes – Twitter use varies significantly by income level, educational attainment, race, and age.

So in a multivariate analysis (that means everything’s thrown into the stew), do various political affiliations matter?

For party (this was the one that included independent), no, this did not matter (although it was fairly close to being statistically significant), income and age were the major explanatory variables for Twitter use.

For party line (leaning Democrat or Republican), no, this did not matter – in this case, age, followed weakly, but still statistically significantly, by income, were the primary explanatory variables for Twitter use.

For ideology (that’s the conservative-liberal one), no, this did not matter – in that case income and age were the major explanatory variables for Twitter use.

Link to full image

10 Oct

Chatty Katy

There are lots of opportunities to hear me talk this month and next month.

Registan conference 10/4-5 – Polling in Central Asia
Columbia University Harriman Institute 10/11 – Internet in Eurasia
Central Eurasian Studies Society conference 10/18 – Blogging in the Caucasus
University of Washington Ellison Center 10/23 – Georgian elections
National Communication Association 11/15 – ICTs and transnational families in Armenia

And then I’ll collapse.



10 Oct

Mobiles Galore!

There are a lot of mobile communication opportunities right now.

First, the new SAGE journal Mobile Media & Communication is launching in January and is currently accepting submissions.

My favorite conference every year is the mobile preconference at ICA. The mobile comm community is full of great people and for me, at least, it feels the most like home in terms of academic subdisciplines. ICA 2013 is in London, which makes it even more exciting. The preconference call for papers is up. Abstracts are due on November 16. (Most ICA submissions are full papers, so an abstract-only is a nice incentive!)

Another conference that popped up this week is the Mobile Telephony in the Developing World conference in Finland. This too requires an abstract, by November 30.

I’m teaching both an undergraduate and a graduate mobile comm course this quarter, so I feel like I am surrounded by mobiles right now!

01 Oct

Azerbaijani government steps up its digital game

Azeri opposition daily links new internet project to presidential election
BBC Monitoring International Reports – Sunday, September 30, 2012
An influential Azerbaijani opposition newspaper has linked the launch of a new social networking website, www.butalife.com, to the 2013 presidential election.

The owner of the website is Ilham Abduyev, brother-in-law of powerful Azerbaijani Emergencies Minister Kamaladdin Heydarov, the Yeni Musavat newspaper reported on 21 September. Abduyev is also the owner of the azerbaijans.com and qarabag.net websites, which contain information about Azerbaijan and its breakaway region of Nagornyy Karabakh.

Second in Azerbaijan

“The name of Abduyev is rarely in the limelight and he is known as the person leading the emergencies minister’s ‘intellectual team’ and who is mostly engaged in creative activities. However, there is no doubt that the launch in Azerbaijan of an online social network calculated for the international audience could not be implemented without direct approval and financial support of Kamaladdin Heydarov,” the report said.

The newspaper described Heydarov as the second most powerful man in the Azerbaijani politics and said that given the uncertain financial prospects of the project there is likely to be a political aspect to it.

“The social networks are currently an important tool in the politics as well and politicians are using them to mobilize the electorate or organize protests of the disgruntled. Heydarov does not lack political ambitions and his name was often mentioned in the mass media as a contender for the post of prime minister or even president,” Yeni Musavat said.

2013 presidential election

However, the report noted that Heydarov is unlikely to oppose Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and cited an anonymous source in the government as saying that the website will be used in the 2013 presidential election to support the incumbent. “The emergencies minister is thus trying to prove that he is ready to mobilize all his resources for the third presidential term of Aliyev,” Yeni Musavat said.

The newspaper further quoted the source as saying that the Azerbaijani authorities are bringing in online PR campaign specialists from abroad in preparation to use the internet and social networking websites in the forthcoming presidential election campaign.

“The recent instructions by the NAP [New Azerbaijan Party] Political Council for the young members of the ruling party to become members of Facebook and to actively use it as part of this plan,” Yeni Musavat said. The newspaper added that currently the opposition supporters are very active on Facebook and other social networking websites and the authorities are lagging behind.

Abduyev’s remarks

Meanwhile, lent.az news website published on 13 September the text of an address by Ilham Abduyev concerning the launch of Butalife.

The website will be a “window from Azerbaijan on to the world” and the main objective is to “gain an international status and turn into one of the most trusted places in the world for social debate”, Abduyev writes in the address.

He added that the website will also be different from other social network by using online TV and news feeds from the most popular international media, offering blogging microsites and sections for examinations, tests and business.

BBCM note: There are no restrictions on Azerbaijanis using international social media sites such as Facebook , Twitter. According to the socialbakers.com website over 10 per cent of the Azerbaijani population (880,620 people) are Facebook users.