Politics 2.0. Politicians Compete For Twitter Followers

Living in England, I do find myself missing my NPR. Tonight I had a rare moment to sit back and relax and an interesting story about American politicians leveraging social media caught my attention.

Did you know the GOP and the Democrats are going neck-and-neck encouraging representatives to get on Twitter? It’s not that surprising that the Blues are embracing social media, with President Obama as the lead example in connecting millions and with right-hand man David Ploeffe a household name. But, the GOP? Seriously?

This got me thinking and further prompted me to visit the GOP web site. They’ve got blogs, a social network, video and what looks like a steady stream of content so they more than deserve a passing grade. But it all stops there. The content is nothing more than a steady stream of spoofs and mock-u-mentary style mud-slinging. It takes up most of the home page and places news and updates at the sides. Really?

A rule of thumb in digital media is that anything you do MUST enhance the user’s experience. If getting a few chuckles is their goal, then they’re right on track.

Meanwhile the Democrats have promised a Twitter bird trophy to the constituent who generates the most followers. I say any engagement via Twitter is a good thing as it opens up one more channel. However, it must REMAIN open.

On this side of the pond, check out Tweetminster an excellent resource for all things politics and public affairs, including the increased number of politicians on Twitter — no doubt by the Clegg/Cameron digital face-off earlier last month.

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