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Sarah Palin, Paper Grizzly

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, July 15 2010

The Nation's Ari Melber makes the compelling case that while Sarah Palin's fairly well-produced "Mama Grizzlies" video caught the eye of the press, it hasn't gathered all that much attention amongst her base:

In the week since it was first posted on Palin’s Facebook page, which boasts over 1.8 million backers, the video has drawn 368,000 views. Yet despite her large following, only 33,000 people watched the video via Facebook, according to YouTube statistics. That means only one out of ten viewers found “Mama Grizzlies” through Palin’s social network -- and under 2 percent of her Facebook community watched the video. So who did watch “Mama Grizzlies”?

Mostly traditional news readers and Palin detractors.

Almost a third of all views came through an article on Yahoo! News, for example, while ratings for the video ran almost two-to-one for “dislike” over “like.” “The bulk of the views seem to come after it had been covered in the mainstream media,” observes Pete Warden, a social media analyst who has studied Palin’s Facebook strategy. “She is still reaching a lot more people indirectly through the media than through Facebook and Twitter and the other direct channels,” added Warden, a former engineer at Apple.

The rest here. A slightly different angle on the data, though a rather obvious one, is that Palin hit exactly the audience she was aiming at: the press, her detractors, the political establishment, the last of which she addresses directly in the video, saying, "Look out Washington, because there's a whole stampede of pink elephants crossing the line, and the ETA, stampeding through, is November 2nd, twenty-ten." Nonetheless, great stuff in Ari's piece to use the metrics we have available now to check on some of the full-volume narratives that surround Sarah Palin, and others. And Ari's "paper grizzly" is a pretty great phrase.

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