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2012 Political Book Buyers Less Polarized Than in 2008

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, October 16 2012

Detail from Valdis Krebs, 2012 Political Book Network

Every four years, Valdis Krebs, an expert in network analysis, takes a look at the political book-buying habits of Amazon's customers, and performs a bit of data visualization magic. By looking at the data Amazon shares about people who buy books in common, along with the "also-bought" pairings, Krebs produces a network map linking books, and their buyers, into clusters. You can see the moats dividing many Americans into blue and red islands, but also the places where intellectual bridges may exist. (I've included a snippet of the map, but to see the full picture you should go to Krebs' website.) Read More

If Books Were Votes, Obama Would Beat Romney, And Congress Would Go Far Right

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, August 21 2012

Amazon's Election Heat Map, August 21, 2012

The folks at Amazon have just unveiled a seductive piece of eye-candy called the "Election Heat Map of 2012" that categorizes 500 top book titles as either "red" or "blue," and then breaks out current book-buying data state-by-state, offering a near-real-time look at which political books are more popular where. Right now, 56% of the political books being purchased are "red" and 44% are "blue"--and the accompanying map suggests that people in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland and Washington, DC are the only ones swimming against that trend, with Pennsylvania the only state with neutral reading interests. At the same time, Barack Obama's long-selling "The Audacity of Hope" is outselling Mitt Romney's "No Apology: The Case for American Greatness" by a margin of 2-1 in the last thirty days. The heat map is fun to look at, but has to be taken with a huge spoonful of salt. Read More

Conservatives Reading Alinsky! (And Other Surprising Networking Tales from the Amazon)

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, October 29 2008

Valdis Krebs, whose social network maps of the relationships between political book purchasers on Amazon have periodically graced our pixels, has a new post up taking one last look at the shifting patterns that can be ... Read More

Daily Digest: Next for FISA on MyBO? "Don't Ask Me"

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, July 2 2008

A group protesting Barack Obama's stand on warrantless surveillance has attracted more than 10,000 members in just a week, making it the largest user-created group on; we spotlight a tech policy dust-up ... Read More

New Political Patterns in Book-Buying

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, July 1 2008

Every few years, network theorist Valdis Krebs creates a fascinating map of the relationships among the top political books currently selling on Amazon. In past years, he notes, "we saw a divided nation in our book ... Read More

Social Network Analysis of 2008: Is America Polarized or Just Really Impressionable?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, January 2 2008

Buyers of political books on Amazon are clearly divided between people who favor liberal titles vs people who favor conservative titles, with little cross-buying occurring. But a new study of consumer behavior suggests ... Read More