Thursday, November 29, 2007

EXPOSING BLAGOJEVICH: Is his approach an obstacle for Facebook popularity?

Mike Flannery's report on how Gov. Rod Blagojevich goes to Blackhawks games instead of being present in Springfield for mass-transit funding legislative action has gathered quite a bit of attention. And it's deserved. After all, when was the last time you remember your local nightly news devoted 7 minutes and 55 seconds to a single-topic story dealing with a politician that didn't involve a scandal or election? My understanding is that this sort of thing is unheard of or at least rare in TV news.

While many are drawing their own conclusions about how Blagojevich's stay-at-home governing style is affecting important issues like the CTA, I thought this wouldn't be a bad time to look at the lighter side. For instance, how has his Facebook popularity fared? (Please note, you'll need a Facebook account to view some links.)

Blagojevich is the sole member of the Facebook group "I Support Healthcare," of which he is the creator.

(Click for the full-size group page)

The group's profile makes this statement:
"This group is for people who want to work to make affordable, quality healthcare for everyone a reality."

Despite having 2,148 "Friends of Blagojevich" that support him on his Facebook profile, the governor is alone in supporting healthcare.

(Click to see a full-size image)

That's right. Not a single of his supporters on Facebook has joined his group to support healthcare, despite Blagojevich being the 18th most popular sitting governor on Facebook.

How can his lack of support on Facebook be explained? Could this be a result of his "inaccessibility" by not checking his profile often enough and posting on his supporter's walls? Is this a sign of his "poor skills at building relationships" surfacing not only in Springfield, but also in the complicated world of Web 2.0? Is his "lack of interest in details" of items in his supporters' News Feed updates driving people away from Facebook groups he creates?

I should point out that Rod's birthday is coming up in 11 days, so maybe some of his closest 2,148 supporters on Facebook can post on his wall and join his "I Support Healthcare" group as a birthday gift.

(Cross posted to my blog. E-mail me or Facebook me!)


Anonymous,  1:13 PM  

btw - politician pages on facebook can't do all those things you say.

They are more statues than interactive profiles.

JeffreyIsbell 8:55 PM  

The group actually has 120+ members. And yes, they can do the things he said ;) They can do whatever the person controlling the page wants it to do... create groups, send messages, join groups, etc.

Anonymous,  11:56 PM  

Not politician pages.

Those are different from regular facebook pages.

Facebook changed their policy on politicians a little while ago, giving all prominent ones a basic page with limited capabilities.

JeffreyIsbell 2:31 AM  

You are still incorrect. Go to the links provided. Go to Rod Blagojevich's page, click on his healthcare group, see that he's the sole administrator/creator, click on his name and it takes you back to his page. This proves that he was the creator of the group and it's the same Rod Blagojevich.

I am an administator in several groups, of which, some congressmen and elected officials are members and some even post.

The only thing different about politician pages is they have a different personal information categories, their friends are actually called supporters, etc

Kiyoshi Martinez 5:29 PM  


If you look at this screenshot here, taken the night I wrote this post, the group only had ONE member (Blagojevich).

Looks like someone got busy and got him some supporters for the Facebook group in the following few days.

Also, notice the most recent wall posts, (right now there's only 2) both came yesterday. Call it a coincidence, but I suspect the fact that after I wrote about this, some staffer probably was told to start getting people to join the Facebook group. Or, hey, maybe people were taking my suggestion to join the group as an early birthday present for the Governor. :)

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