Twitter, Congress, and You
by The Opportunity Agenda, Fri Mar 20, 2009 at 08:34:46 AM EDT
Thinking Twitter had finally hit the mainstream, as evidenced by Nightline doing a feature on it, I recently wrote in this space a brief summary on what Twitter actually is. Since then, I feel like Twitter—or more accurately, talk of Twitter—has been everywhere.
It started with some members of Congress thinking Twitter was a useful way for them to reach their constituents. A minor hullaballoo arose when a few of these Congresspeople continued to "tweet," through Obama's recent, don't call it a State of the Union, address before Congress. Not only were they disrespectful, they were inane.
For example, Congressman John Culberson (R-TX) was really excited "Sully" was there. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) "did a big woohoo for Justice Ginsberg." And there's everyone's favorite, Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX) with this gem:
Aggie basketball game is about to start on espn2 for those of you that aren't going to bother watching pelosi smirk for the next hour.
15 minutes later:
Disregard that last Tweet from a staffer.
Although clearly some Congresspeople are working out the kinks on how best to use Twitter, they clearly see a utility in using the service. Twitter might be preferable, with a certain audience, to e-mail because our inboxes are simply becoming flooded. Attaining an empty inbox has become a modern day mythical quest. We all try to do it despite knowing in our hearts, it just can't be done. Because of this, we will delete eNewsletters even from organizations we believe in.
The sheer flood of e-mail has taken the fun out of it. Meanwhile, when we're on Facebook, or when we check our Twitter feed, that's often free time. It's not a task we must get done, like checking e-mail. So Twitter is a way to get through the din. It's a new way to get heard. With that in mind, Twitter can be a really useful communications tool.
Next time we'll explore Twitter best practices to harness this increasingly popular tool. Since last year Twitter has grown 1382%. Come on, everybody's doing it! Still, I leave you with this thought from Saritha Prabhu and the Tennessean: If it's hip to Twitter, why is McCain doing it?
Read more at The Opportunity Agenda's blog.