Twitter In Politics Arnold Schwartzegger Sarah PalinIn the Yahoo! News, July 23rd post, TMT: Too Much Twitter, they discuss the controversy surrounding politicians using Twitter.

“If the medium is the message, then what’s the message when politicians use 140-character tweets to talk about their state’s dire economic circumstances or ethics charges?

Yesterday, embattled Govs. Sarah Palin and Arnold Schwarzenegger addressed career-changing (or ending) issues facing them…on Twitter. Palin was responding to a new report on ethics charges against her, tweeting:

‘Re inaccurate story floating re:ethics violation/Legal Defense Fund;matter is still pending;new info was just requested even;no final report.'”

According to the Christian Science Monitor blog, 115 politicians are using Twitter. But, how much information and communication with constituents is too much?  There is no doubt that we are in a new era of social media awareness and the proper balance is likely yet to be found.  Below are a couple of links to articles past and present regarding the political Twitter controversy.

Politicians using Twitter: Morons or visionaries?

Blog discusses various political tweets that politicians have used along with viewpoints on this tweets.

“Political analyst Charlie Cook isn’t a fan of Twitter. Or at least politicians’ use of the social messaging tool.

Cook opined a couple days ago that he has ‘yet to hear a single intelligent remark twittered by an elected official.’

Maybe that’s because you’re bound by the medium. You’re only only allowed 140 characters each time you ‘tweet’.

No matter to Cook.

‘The vacuous utterances Twittered daily from members of Congress make me wonder how they have the time to spend keying in on such banalities and marveling over the narcissism implicit in their belief that anyone cares about their every single thought and reaction to contemporaneous events,’ he writes.”

Terrorist ‘tweets’? US Army warns of Twitter dangers

This is a post from October 25, 2008, warning of potential Twitter dangers.

“A draft US Army intelligence report has identified the popular micro-blogging service Twitter, Global Positioning System maps and voice-changing software as potential terrorist tools.

The report by the 304th Military Intelligence Battalion, posted on the website of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), examines a number of mobile and web technologies and their potential uses by militants.”

Security Fail: Congressman Pete Hoekstra Twitters “secret” trip to Iraq

This article is from February 2009:

“I think it’s wonderful that more politicians are beginning to discover social media tools and use them to add transparency for their constituents.  The problem is when people like Pete Hoekstra, representative for Michigan’s 2nd District in the US House, go and ruin it for everyone.”

It is perfectly understandable and appropriate that politicians are working to become more and more “touchable” by those that have elected them. There is certainly a great deal of respect that elicits. However, as our world has made a major shift in the methods and frequency of communication, ‘best practices’ of politicians in reference to social media are bound to become more controlled.


Social Media Update: Our communication has changed.  We are clearly no longer a society that gathers all of our news from the local newspaper and the local news station. Rather, we are gathering it from sources everywhere. Whether it is a blogger that breaks a news story, a Google search that turns up the most up to date stock market numbers, or a Twitter Iran situation, the way we get our information has changed.

Two online entities that have a wide span of popularity are Google and Twitter.  Recent developments as the start-up company, Twitter, has taken off, beg the question, “Will Google and Twitter continue to co-exist?”

Google is not only a household name but  similar to how the brand name “Kleenex” took over the term “tissue paper”, “Google it” now means, run an online search.  Google is dominating the search market.  In the more recent future Twitter has begun to take a nationwide position and Twitter words like the ones listed below are being introduced into our vocabulary:

tweet(ing): the act of posting to Twitter.
tweeple:
Twitter people, Twitter members, Twitter users.
twitterpated:
to be overwhelmed with Twitter messages.
politweet:
a political tweet

According to a New York Times article, “Twitter, the popular micro-blogging service, has stolen a prominent Google lawyer.” Mashable reports on it as well, stating, “The site has nabbed Alexander Macgillivray, the former Senior Product and Intellectual Property Counsel at Google…”  Although Twitter hasn’t had any major legal battles up to this point, they are thinking proactively as they begin to look at their future ROI plans.

Google recently released a list of all their Google Twitter accounts. TecUpdates reports that there are 45 Google Accounts on Twitter. That information alone begs the question, would Google buy Twitter? According to Sam Howat,

“Having many accounts to communicate with your customers via a popular medium does not qualify it for purchase. Twitter is not going to sell itself for anything less than $1Billion. Google is hoarding its cash just like everyone else during this recession.”

Howatt goes on in his post to discuss Google Wave.  Google Wave is a new Google application that will be released, this app will “consolidate the attention of Google’s huge user-base no matter what social network they are involved in,” according to Scott Hewat.  He goes on to say, “With the ability to converse in private, public, real-time, or threaded email, Wave is a fully branded, all-inclusive Google product that makes the communication lives of people amazingly easy.”

All that to say, in this information age, technology age, computer age, whichever ‘age’ you choose to adopt…  The verdict on the Google and Twitter relationship is still up in the air. However, the fact remains in our social media update,  our communication as  a culture has changed and  it’ll be interesting to see how our culture continues to shift and change as our communication practices do.

What are your thoughts regarding pros and cons of the communication changes? Do you think that Twitter grabbing a Google lawyer signifies any future shifts in their business?

Thanks for reading and yes, you can follow us on Twitter.

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07.15.09