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Checking the techPresident Charts

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, August 6 2008

It's been a while since I've checked in on our charts tracking how the campaigns are doing on the web, and even though we're now firmly headed into the August doldrums before the national conventions, some interesting trends are worth noting.

* Obama continues to dominate the online social network arena, gaining another 125,000 friends on Facebook in the last month.

* In terms of site traffic, it looks like July was McCain's best month ever. Hitwise shows him peaking at nearly 30% of all web traffic (with Obama taking the rest); Compete's data shows a similar boost for the Arizona Senator. Keep in mind that while his share is up, the overall amount of visits presidential campaign sites is way down from the early primary period. To some degree, McCain could only go up, given how low his web traffic has been up to this point, but I think this also reflects both his campaign's more aggressive online messaging efforts in July and a certain stasis on the Obama side.

* McCain's YouTube views also doubled over the last month, from 3.7 million to nearly 8 million. Again, this is a reflection of his campaign starting to "get" viral video: together "The One" and "Celeb" amount to about 2.6 million of those new views.

* McCain still trails Obama in organic mentions among bloggers, according to Technorati, but he's getting closer to parity. We aren't tracking sentiment, of course.

* Dark horse third-party candidate Bob Barr may well be catching on among the Ron Paul crowd. Our Meetup chart shows him taking off in the last two months, with about 6,000 people self-organizing in nearly 140 groups supporting his candidacy. That's a fraction of the almost 100,000 people in Ron Paul Meetups, but it still is a sign of real grass-roots support for the Libertarian Barr.