Saturday, July 28, 2007

MediaBistro has trouble adding up

American democracy has more than enough problems without people joining in to suggest the P Diddy is more interesting than politics by massaging the figures:

Diddy Got More Responses For Personal Assistant On YouTube Than CNN Debate Questions

But let's put the numbers in perspective (i.e. help CNN safely come down from its post-debate high) with a fun, if tangentially relevant, YouTube fact:

# No. of questions submitted for CNN's YouTube Debate: 2,989
# No. of responses to Diddy's YouTube call for an assistant: 10,000

Despressing stuff. Although, not strictly true stuff. There were, indeed, 2,989 questions posted for the CNN Democrat debate, but the vague "10,000 responses" seems to be an estimate of the total number of videos posted in response to the Diddy competition - and something of an overestimate. Since Mediabistro haven't mbothered to count the numerous additional videos that responded to the CNN debates which weren't direct questions, it seems only fair to exclude responses to Diddy that weren't actual entries. The outcome, then, is slightly different:

Number of questions submitted for CNN's YouTube debate: 2,989
Number of entries for Diddy's YouTube call for an assistant: 627, many of which were multiple posts by the same entrants.

Not, of course, that this means anything anyway - it's like those articles which count up the relative number of words in Wikipedia articles on, say, Star Wars action figures and Abraham Lincoln and conclude that Wikipedia users are stunted thought-wasters rather than that there are many, many thousands of more authoritative articles on mainstream subjects already published online and all those topics really need is a few links.

But let's not feed Diddy's myth that he's bigger than democracy, eh?