Monday, September 15, 2008

Political Tweets

In my last post, I explored my fondness for Twitter --and I am going to expand on this new found love with the new phenomenon of "political tweets." During the National Democratic Convention, I found myself addicted to watching the various speeches while garnishing "tweet" commentary from ( I had read an article from the Washington Post about John Dickerson's use of Twitter during the convention. With tweets such as "Live performance of 'Yes We Can' video. Obasms abound," or later during the Republic Convention, "Palin's 17 y.o. daughter is pregnant which seems like a slightly over competitive response to the huge Biden family," I was hooked. Not only did the tweets make the conventions easier to stand, they were often more insightful than the predictable empty rhetoric of the pundits that followed throughout the night. Intrigued, I signed up to "cyber-stock" or "follow," as the twitterites say, Obama, Biden and Clinton's tweets. Here I was mostly disappointed by the content of these tweets, because they only really contained links to websites with more depth content--instead of intelligent soundbites. My interest started to wain until I got an email stating that Obama was following me! Wow . . . Really I thought? All I ever tweet about is my crappy day, or pictures of redecorating efforts, or trying to pass along new catch phrases such as "Viagra politicking" (pass it on-will ya?). Obama following me . . . that seemed kinda sweet, if not pointless. Next, to be fair to our political system, I signed up to cyber-stock McCain and Palin. Originally Palin then signed up to follow me, but since my efforts to spread the phrase "Viagra Politicking" she has apparently lost interest and left. What is mostly interesting to note, is that McCain and Palin offer duplicate efforts with their posts/tweets. If I get a tweet from Palin asking me to "check the facts," I also get the same tweet from McCain. This is not true of Biden and Obama who, although occasionally offering the same tweets, have original tweets of their own. What does this mean? Can I make a profound observation regarding this occurrence? I could stipulate that Palin's political organizers are tightly bound up and controlled by the now "McCain Machine"--an observation already made by many. In the end, however, I think that both the Obama and McCain camps are missing out on a terrific tool by under-utilizing the Twitter application. Soundbites can be attractive, yes--but most of us prefer more substantive posts, even if they are limited to 140 characters. In the now land of SMS and IMs and Twitter and Twinkle--it will become vital to master this new tool in order to cater to the cell phone messaging masses. R

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