[This is cross-posted at The ImpactWatch blog.]

J.W.'s American Idol Twitter prediction about which contestant would end their run last night was wrong.  Brooke White did not go home despite having a disastrous restart during her song while Carly Smithson performed well this week — even garnering praise from Simon Cowell.

I think that J.W. had a novel idea, but why was his prediction wrong? 

There's an excellent chance that those who use Twitter aren't representative of the ardent American Idol voter.  While I don't know the demographics of the voting population, Twitter is new and geeky enough that it wouldn't surprise me if this was the case.

Here's an anecdote about why I know Twitter isn't that widespread yet. Twitter inputs my tweets into Facebook and lists them in my status updates.  My friends see: "Steve Petersen is twitter: …"  Although my friends do show social media tendencies by using the site, some of them have no idea of what Twitter is.  One asked me, "What's with all this twittering?''  While another wondered if I was constantly nervous.

Now, I'm not saying that my friends accurately represent the American Idol voter, but they probably are more like the voter than a group of people who use a geeky (I use that with pride) site.  If some of my friends understand and enjoy social media enough to use a social network but are not aware of Twitter, then tweeters are in a smaller subset of the population than my friends who use social networks.  Needless to say, I have many friends who either don't want a Facebook account or lack the desire to social media (let alone Twitter) on-line.

Further, I doubt that everyone who positively tweets about a contestant votes for that person.  Also, I know people who vote multiple times for the same person each week, and even if a Twitter user voted for the contestant whom they wrote about, how are we sure that they voted once, twice, or nine times?