Obama's Buzz Down on the Internet

His approval rating may be high, but his buzz rating is going down.

By and + More

By Nikki Schwab, Washington Whispers

At Day 100, President Obama's approval rating was still remarkably high. But there's a little bit of bad news. It seems that Obama is just not quite as buzzworthy as he was during his inauguration. The folks at Zeta Interactive, who measure the Internet buzz, cranked out the latest numbers for Whispers and found that Obama's Web buzz has dropped off dramatically. It's not that the public has really turned against Obama, the Zeta folks tell us, it's just that the prez had nowhere to go but down. The tone of Web users has changed as well. Thanks to the continued recession, the kerfluffle over AIG bonuses, and other sour topics, the percentage of negative buzz about the president has increased by 9 points since Inauguration Day, from 23 percent negative buzz to 32 percent negative buzz. So why should we care about how people are perceiving the president online? "Blogs and online communities have become very viable influencers since the last time a president served his 100 days, and their authority will only continue to grow," writes Al Diguido, CEO of Zeta.

Here's Zeta's analysis:

Volume:

In terms of volume, pre-Inauguration Obama saw a consistent build-up of activity and “buzz”, from the week preceding taking office, from 1/13/2009 – 1/20/2009

Buzz since has dropped off dramatically, over the past 100 days from 1/20/2009 – 4/30/2009

Tone:

The tone of the public the week prior to Obama’s inauguration saw overwhelmingly positive support, from 1/13/2009 -1/20-2009

The tone of the public over the past 100 days showed a drop of about 9 points amid a worsening economy, from 1/20/2009 – 4/30/2009

Summary:

As you can see from the charts, President Obama’s seemingly impenetrable armor has been dented a bit during the political and economic battles of his first 100 days in office. While the online community is still solidly in his corner with a 68% positive rating, the tone of the posts have become increasingly skeptical and the public has waned a bit in their fervent pre-election support. The volume, or buzz, of posts is also trending downwards as the economy continues to dominate thousands of blogs and message boards.

According to Zeta Buzz technology, one of the biggest reasons for this slide has been the continued recession and all of the factors included therein. Topics like: foreclosures, AIG bonuses, the American international image, the auto bailout, government spending, job losses, etc are closely tied to Obama’s name around the blogosphere, weighing down the previously positive chatter.

In terms of the first 100 days of a presidency, these were certainly dramatic. They were also unprecedented as the American public was able to discuss and debate policies more vigorously than ever before. Blogs and online communities have become very viable influencers since the last time a President served his first 100 days, and their authority will certainly only continue to grow. It remains to be seen how President Obama will fare in the next 100 days, but you can be certain the blogosphere will be watching closely.

- Al DiGuido, CEO of Zeta Interactive

Zeta Interactive Boilerplate:

Zeta Interactive is a full-service digital marketing agency offering a wide range of services—from email and search marketing, to Web site development, creative services, social media marketing and mining, and more. According to the 2008 Advertising Age Digital Agency Report, the company is currently ranked among the Top 50 digital agencies in the U.S. and 25th among U.S. Search Agencies.

Zeta Interactive is a leading provider of integrated, interactive services that help marketers realize the full potential of the Internet to build brands, increase sales, improve processes, and reduce costs. The company’s specialty is in crafting strategies and programs for marketers that help them acquire, retain, up-sell, cross-sell and win back their customers—cost effectively and efficiently—by leveraging customer data and insight from individual marketing initiatives to drive even more relevant and rewarding exchanges across all media and channels. The company does so by providing superior proprietary technology and a marketing approach that is focused on accountability, measurability and ROI metrics.

Headquartered in New York City, Zeta Interactive has more than 300 employees worldwide located in California, Florida, Idaho, Nevada, New Jersey, Texas, Rhode Island and India. The company serves more than 200 clients currently, including such world-class companies as Time Inc. and Sony Electronics Inc. For more information please visit: www.zetainteractive.com.

Follow Paul and Nikki on Twitter.

Check out more Washington Whispers.