Ahead in the clouds

April 29, 2010

BRITAIN-ELECTION/Despite a diem horribilis yesterday and a general consensus that he did not win either of the two TV debates already held, Labour leader Gordon Brown can take some comfort ahead of tonight’s key economy debate that he is a nose ahead of his rivals in the social media sphere.

Alterian analysed over 300,000 conversations in blogs, wikis and social networks between February 26 and April 26 and found that Brown was the candidate who received the most overall mentions and had the most positive feedback.

Though his initial strong lead on overall mentions did ebb away over the two months as LibDem leader Nick Clegg gained ground, he kept his lead in positive conversations, whereas Clegg has consistently attracted the most negative web feedback.

However, social media monitoring seems to back claims that LibDem leader Nick Clegg has a higher profile among the younger, web-savvy generation. With his own personal Twitter feed of over 29,000 followers, he gets the most mentions among micro-bloggers.

Indeed, while Brown has significantly more mentions among the over-50 silver surfers, Clegg wins hands down as the candidate most mentioned by the under-18 age group – who can’t, unfortunately for him, vote.

The report also looked at ‘theme clouds’ to see which topics were generating the most buzz. ‘Economy’ featured in all the leaders’ clouds, while Brown also had the key topic words ‘health’ and ‘war’.

Could tonight’s debate be life or death for Gordon?

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