Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Election Night Was a Second Screen Extravaganza

If you are reading this there are very good odds that you spent all or part of election night online. Because, why wouldn’t you?

Still, here’s some data that shows how commonplace that behavior was, beyond your personal filter bubble: A third of the country followed the returns last week online.

And most of them were “second screeners,” who used both the TV and the Internet to keep up.

That’s via new research from the folks at Pew, who have other stats that make intuitive sense.

For instance: The younger you are, the more likely you were to be online, and/or to use the Web as your only source of news.

Bear in mind that while lots of folks will assume that “online” equals “Facebook and Twitter,” it really just means “online” — ask Nate Silver and the New York Times. Only 8 percent of voters said they followed the returns on social networks. But Obama voters (11 percent) were much more likely to do so than Romney voters (4 percent).

The full report is here; the part you care about is here.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work