Member's Blog


Written by Malek Thursday, 8 November 2012 23:30

Written by News Thursday, 8 November 2012 23:04



After spending months staring at the electoral map and trying to puzzle out which states might go for President Obama, which for Mitt Romney and by how much, we thought it was worth sorting through the actual results to find the 10 states where the two men ran closest.

These 10 states are likely to be the swing states of the future, the places where both parties — in presidential elections but also midterm races — target their time and money in hopes of swaying a relatively evenly divided electorate. 

Before we get to the list of states, a few fun facts:

* Of the 10 states, Obama won nine of them. (North Carolina was the lone Romney victory.)

* Only one — Florida — appears likely to be decided by less than a single percentage point. (At the moment, Obama leads Romney by 0.6 percent with 99 percent of precincts reporting.) That’s a change from 2008 when three states were decided by less than a point: Missouri (0.1 percent), North Carolina (0.4 percent) and Indiana (0.9 percent).

* Of the three states where Romney pledged to expand the map — Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania — only one (Pennsylvania) makes our top 10 closest races. In Michigan, Obama won by 8.5 points, while he carried Minnesota by 7.6 points.

Without further ado, here are our top 10 closest states, ranked from narrowest margin — by percentage — to widest. If less than 100 percent of precincts are reporting in a state, according to the Associated Press, that is noted in parentheses.

1. Florida: 0.6 percent (Obama 49.9, Romney 49.3.)

2. Ohio: 1.9 percent (Obama 50.1, Romney 48.2)

3. North Carolina: 2.2 percent (Romney 50.6, Obama 48.4)

4. Virginia (99% reporting): 3.0 percent (Obama 50.8, Romney 47.8) 

5. Colorado: 4.7 percent (Obama 51.2, Romney 46.5)

6. Pennsylvania (99% reporting): 5.2 percent (Obama 52, Romney 46.8)

7. Iowa: 5.6 percent (Obama 52.1, Romney 46.5)

8. New Hampshire (99% reporting): 5.8 percent (Obama 52.2, Romney 46.4)

9. Nevada (99% reporting): 6.6 percent (Obama 52.3, Romney 45.7)

10. Wisconsin: 6.7 percent (Obama 52.8, Romney 46.1)

The future of compromise: So the government of 2013 will look a lot like the government of 2012 and 2011, but will there be more compromise?

We’re getting conflicting signals.

One potentially major shift is House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) saying his party may be open to revenue (read: tax) increases as a part of budget dealing.

“For purposes of forging a bipartisan agreement that begins to solve the problem, we’re willing to accept new revenue, under the right conditions,” Boehner said Wednesday.

Written by Malek Saturday, 3 November 2012 00:10



Whether you’ve noticed it or not, Facebook has likely changed your brain. You get a rush of dopamine — that same chemical that kicks in when you’re rewarded — when you see a notification. People with more than 229 friends tend to have larger orbital prefrontal cortexes, the area for social behavior and emotion. An interesting infographic from Best Masters in Psychology details the social network’s effect on the brain.


However, addiction to Facebook has its definite drawbacks.

The team at Best Masters in Psychology found that Internet addicts have 10 percent to 20 percent smaller brain areas for important functions such as speech, memory, motor control, emotion, sensory, and other information. The more time that is spent online, the more the brain atrophies in these areas.

Want to know more? Check out the infographic:

Written by Malek Saturday, 3 November 2012 00:06



Did you know that the majority (51 percent) of U.S. Christmas holiday shoppers will do most of their purchasing in November, and almost one third (29 percent) will have started before October?

68 percent expect to spend the same or more as last year, and almost two-thirds (63 percent) will do the majority of their gift-buying online. Moreover, 40 percent of socially savvy shoppers will use Twitter and Facebook to interact with companies before making purchases, and 70 percent use Twitter for reviews.

This infographic takes a closer look at holiday ecommerce trends, underlining why it’s never been more important for businesses to be holiday-ready across all their digital platforms.

Written by Wednesday, 31 October 2012 22:53

Good news! That work project is almost complete, and you find yourself with a few minutes to kill. Heck, you’ve earned it. So, what’s the first thing you do? Have a quick look at Twitter? Read the latest posts from your friends on Facebook? Browse all that goodness on Pinterest?

Sure you do. Nothing wrong with that. But isn’t it amazing how often that “quick look” escalates into something a lot more substantial… and disruptive?

It’s official: social media is addictive. And if you’re not too careful, it can seriously eat into your productivity. And it isn’t just employees (and their bosses) who are feeling the pinch – one study suggested that the GPA of college students who regularly use Facebook is a full point lower than their peers who can resist the urge to log on.


Written by Monday, 29 October 2012 21:36


Have you been tweeting about the US elections? If so, you’re part of the 39 percent of US adults who use social media to discuss politics. So how is all of this online political activity affecting the presidential elections?

OpenSite has prepared this infographic that explores the impact that social media has had on politics.

It reminds us that 2008 was called the “social media election”, with 1.8 million tweets sent on election day… and that now, in 2012, there are 1.8 million tweets sent every six minutes.

Barack Obama’s appearance at the Democratic National Convention caused over 52,000 tweets to be sent, on average, every minute, resulting in about 4 million tweets total during his 39 minute speech.

And other representatives are jumping on social media too: 9 out of 10 Senators and Representatives have their own Twitter accounts.

The infographic also points out that 4 out of 10 people will use social media to help them make a decision come election day – so the candidates had better do all they can to present themselves in the best light, in 140-characters or less.

Written by Malek Friday, 26 October 2012 23:34

Two pollsters, Gallup and Rasmussen Reports, are projecting Republican voters to have a slight advantage on November 6 over Democratic voters. When they add likely voters leaning towards one party or another, they find an electorate that is marginally more Republican than in 2004, when voters narrowly reelected incumbent President George W. Bush. Gallup projects that the demographics of the electorate will nearly mirror 2008, but party support favors Republicans more than the last two presidential election cycles.

In 2008, Gallup projected that self-identified Democrats would outnumber Republicans by 39 to 35 percent. When voters who leaned Democratic were included, they projected an 12 point advantage for Democrats. This slightly overestimated the final national electorate, in which Democrats enjoyed wide but slightly smaller advantage over Republicans. In 2004, Gallup found party identification favoring Republicans by 2 points, which virtually mirrored the final national vote in which Bush won by just over 2 percent.

This year, Gallup finds a one point Republican advantage over Democrats, at 36 to 35 percent. They also find that self-identified independent voters will make up 29 percent of the electorate. However, when leaners are included, Republican voters will outnumber Democratic voters by 49 to 46 percent.



This finding is close to what Rasmussen Reports saw in their August/September average of party identification. Their surveys found Republicans dominating the electorate with Democrats trailing their 2004 and 2008 turnout totals. Independent voters, which most national polls show favoring Mitt Romney by wide margins but backed President Barack Obama in 2008, approximately mirror their 2008 turnout totals (the Washington Post/ABC News tracking poll on Thursday showed Romney with a 19-point advantage over Obama among independent voters).


Written by Malek Thursday, 25 October 2012 22:52


Twitter drives the most traffic of all the major social networks, but it’s Facebook that generates the most revenue, reveals a new study by Eventbrite.

Shares made on Twitter trigger, on average, 33 visits to websites, compared to 14 for Facebook and 10 for LinkedIn. But the value of that share skews heavily in Facebook’s favour, with its $4.15 revenue rate more than twice that of Twitter’s ($1.85) and four times that of LinkedIn ($0.92).

The value of a share across all social networks was $3.23, largely thanks to Facebook.

Of note: the revenue worth of a share varies around the world, with Ireland being the marketer’s country of choice on both Twitter and Facebook, and France performing best for LinkedIn.

This infographic from Eventbrite takes a closer look at how social media drives revenue