The Social Life of Social Networks: Facebook Linkage Patterns in the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election

Scott P. Robertson, Ravi Vatrapu, Richard Medina

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    This paper examines the linkage patterns of people who posted links on the Facebook “walls” of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain over two years prior to the 2008 U.S. Presidential election. Linkage patterns indicate the destinations to which participants in these social networking dialogues wished to send other participants. We show a strong integration of the Web 2.0 and new media technologies of social networking, online video, and blogs. Outside of video content, users tended to direct others to groups and applications within the Facebook
    community, but this homophilous behavior was more common for infrequent posters. Ten internet domains accounted for 90% of all links, and the top ten contained a mixture of news, candidate, and blog sites. We offer a discussion of the Facebook candidate walls as a public sphere for political discourse and introduce some design concepts for visualizing and navigating the walls.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 10th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research : Social Networks: Making Connections between Citizens, Data and Government
    EditorsSoon Ae Chun, Rodrigo Sandoval, Priscilla Regan
    PublisherDigital Government Society of North America
    Publication date2009
    Pages6-15
    ISBN (Print)9781605585352
    Publication statusPublished - 2009
    Event10th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research: Social Networks: Making Connections between Citizens, Data & Government - Puebla, Mexico
    Duration: 17 May 200920 May 2009
    Conference number: 10

    Conference

    Conference10th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research: Social Networks: Making Connections between Citizens, Data & Government
    Number10
    CountryMexico
    CityPuebla
    Period17/05/200920/05/2009
    SeriesACM International Conference Proceeding Series
    Volume390

    Cite this

    Robertson, S. P., Vatrapu, R., & Medina, R. (2009). The Social Life of Social Networks: Facebook Linkage Patterns in the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election. In S. A. Chun, R. Sandoval, & P. Regan (Eds.), Proceedings of the 10th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research: Social Networks: Making Connections between Citizens, Data and Government (pp. 6-15). Digital Government Society of North America. ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, Vol.. 390