Ah, Sarah Palin -- the media gift that keeps on giving. Has there ever been a politician-turned-pundit more eerily skilled at getting press (OK, mostly bad press, but still) and capturing mindshare, hostage-style? (Love her or hate her, it seems that we've reached a general consensus that everyone must continue to pay attention to her.) Considering that she's merely a part-time contributor to Fox News, her social-media buzz (this week's set of charts look specifically at her Twitter profile) is rather impressive when you compare her to the big boys of conservative punditry. A few notes:
- Her Tea Party conference appearance, as you'd expect, caused the biggest recent spike in her Twitter profile: 49,397 tweets name-checked her on Feb. 7, vs. just 11,277 for "tea party" itself. Palmgate -- the revelation that Palin wrote crib notes on her hand, seventh-grader style, to remind her of her own talking points during her Q&A session at the conference -- helped keep Twitter abuzz, whereas normally you'd expect a steep drop-off once she was offstage. (That latest uptick at the tail end of the chart is due to the "Family Guy" controversy.)
- Even without a particular appearance or controversy in the news, Sarah Palin is maintaining a considerably higher Twitter-buzz level lately than fellow conservative pundits Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. Those guys generally get referenced on Twitter around 1,000 times or fewer a day, whereas Palin is typically name-checked 5,000 times a day or more lately.
- Here's a piece worth reading from the Los Angeles Times "Top of the Ticket" political column today. The headline pretty much says it all: "Something to ponder for 2012: Sarah Palin's ahead of where Obama was 30 months before his nomination."
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Dumenco's Trendrr Chart of the Week is produced in collaboration with Wiredset, the New York digital agency behind Trendrr, a social- and digital-media tracking service. More background here. A basic Trendrr account is free; Trendrr Pro, which offers more robust tracking and reporting tools, comes in various paid flavors (get the details here).
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.