Does The MySpace Vote Matter?
One week ago, MySpace announced plans to hold its own little Presidential primary, and we all “oohed” and “aahed” (or at least thoughtfully “hmmed”) on cue – it sounds like an interesting idea, right? But new data implies that MySpace’s elections won’t in any way predict the real deal.
|Does The MySpace Vote Matter?|
Heather Hopkins, Hitwise’s vice president of research in the UK, gathered the data, and, to be perfectly clear, the data is from the UK – not America. Yet many of Hopkins’s findings should hold true.
Her main conclusion: “It seems that the groups most highly represented on MySpace are also those that are most likely not to vote,” she wrote.
Hopkins then supplied a colorful (and mildly complicated) chart to illustrate the point. Out of eleven groups, only three are considered both “Voters & MySpacers.” The rest either hang out at MySpace and don’t vote or fulfill their civic duties and stay clear of the social networking site.
Still, these findings come with some big disclaimers. First, “[k]eep in mind this data is at the household level – not the voter level.” Also, “[t]his doesn’t mean that politicians should ignore social networks. Social networks account for 6% of upstream visits to politics websites last week and Blogs a further 6%. Together they are nearing the traffic levels referred by News and Media websites (14%).”
The candidates’ increased presence on MySpace is probably a good idea, then, and it’ll be interesting to see how the results of the real Presidential primary stack up next to the site’s version. But, judging from Hopkins’s findings, we shouldn’t expect an exact match.