Twitter Election Feed

September 27, 2008 § Leave a comment

I have discovered another Twitter tool that has captivated my attention: The 2008 election feed.

Twitter has provided this brilliant platform that citizens can use to give their two cents about developments related to the 2008 presidential election. I discovered this while watching the debates last night. Not only did I find a handful of interesting people to follow on Twitter, following the feed allowed me to take the temperature of what the rest of the world was observing about the debates. People are actively using hash tags, which will enable you to more easily follow specific threads, but there seem to be some technical difficulties with this function. The hash tag links always seem to give me an error message. I can’t wait until they iron out the problems with this feature.

I picked up the feed again this morning to find some interesting news items and opinion pieces, as well as to hear the latest controversies, specifically about whether or not McCain muttered “horsesh*t” under his breath in response to Obama’s assertion that McCain wouldn’t meet with the Prime Minister of Spain. Fascinating stuff, let me tell you.

There is a lot of crap that folks are tweeting out there that you would expect from the lowest common denomenator. My overall assessment of this tool, however, is that it has the potential to encourage more people to talk to each other and debate the issues.

Perhaps even *gasp* across state and partisan lines. Now that would be exciting.

Watching the Election: The Conventions

September 6, 2008 § Leave a comment

Back in June I blogged about watching coverage of Clinton’s and Obama’s speeches as they vied for the top spot on the Democratic ticket. I had recently discovered Twitter, and I was finding that I was getting better information and insight than I was watching any analysis on CNN, CSPAN, or even PBS or NPR. Folks I follow on Twitter (including some news outlets) were posting links leading to further information, and I was getting better information on FriendFeed, Twitter, and FaceBook.

While watching the coverage of the DNC and the RNC, I again found myself infront of the TV with my laptop simultaneously following my friends on the social networks, and again, I found I was getting more insight and information from the Internet. It have to say that it was a lot more fun, too. The night that Sarah Palin spoke, FriendFeed, Twitter, and even my friends’ FaceBook updates lit up in response. The following night when McCain delievered his acceptance speech, my friend Stacy in Ohio and I were IMing eachother our observations.

There were people Twittering during both conventions. There were alternative news sources tweeting about all of the protests and the police activity around the RNC. I heard nothing about the police raids from CNN or PBS about Amy Goodman’s arrest or the raids on private homes in St. Paul. I learned this from the UpTake’s webcast and Twitter feed.

I am continually inspired by citizen journalism and the movement to reform media. The Chicago New Media Summit is coming up next week, and though I won’t be there, I am eager to learn about the outcome of that event. I’m hoping to learn about more alternative news services as the election approaches. Meanwhile, I’m planning on watching the election returns on The Daily Show’s Indecision 2008, as well as continuing to get information from my Twitter feed.

While I am discouraged by the political discourse that is reflected on mainstream television, I look to my social networks to be reminded that there is a majority of people in this world who, like me, want to get information out there about what is really going on in American politics, and raise the level of political discourse above the drivel that the conservative media is feeding us.

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