I read two very interesting posts today. The first one was called Everyone an Instapundit and the second one written by a person I have a lot of respect for Roger Simon, CEO of PajamasMedia was called Top Twitter Target. Both of them were very similar in that they tout Twitter as a political movement that the conservative political machine gets more than the liberal political machine. Roger Simon best summarizes this feeling with the following line "It is no accident that Twitter, an extremely non-elitist form, would appeal to the right more than the left. In these times, as those of us in Hollywood know above all, it is ironically the left that is mired in elitism".
Twitter is many things, but it is not some great gift to rescue Republicans. It is also not something that the liberal world ignores or doesn't understand. Let's not get all giddy that Karl Rove has a lot of followers and uses it quite often and that we've successfully organized Tea Parties via Twitter. I watched Michael Patrick Leahy co-found #TCOT (top conservatives on Twitter) and it was a brilliant move. However, Twitter isn't a strategy, it is a tactic.
- Let's debunk the theory that says conservatives get it but liberals don't. Google is in discussions to work a deal with Twitter. Google is run by Eric Schmidt. Eric Schmidt is an adviser to President Obama. Liberals get Twitter.
- The liberal blogosphere has HuffingtonPost, DailyKos, MyDD and thousands of other sites hanging off these big three. That generates tons of comments where the action really is. As an extended member of McCain's campaign (digital strategy, online advertising, search marketing) I tracked how these folks organized and they do quite well with using more than 140 characters. They don't need Twitter in the same fashion as Republicans. Sure you can call the liberal blogosphere elitist, but the people involved don't care.
- As much as conservatives and Republicans have tried, sites like Townhall, Michelle Malkin, Instapundit, and Redstate don't generate the same enthusiasm from everyday folks that are not focused 24/7 on politics. Those people (unfortunately) gravitate towards a site like HuffingtonPost. I'm not saying that's right, but look at this Alexa ranking. It isn't even close.
- Twitter is a vehicle to deliver news and organize thought streams. Uninterested thought streams means no utility. I'm a huge fan of Eli Manning, but his Twitter stream with almost 9K followers is useless.
- Twitter is an echo chamber of other thoughts, brand messages, and communications. When it grows up and starts to make money, it will most likely look like Facebook. Facebook is a place where content is generated and where real utility can be delivered. Twitter isn't Facebook.
- The cloud imagery of Twitter is perfect. People Tweet and if you aren't tuned into them you miss them. Just like clouds float by in interesting shapes that you miss if you don't take the time to look up once in a while. Twitter gets people involved who are watching that minute and once those Tweets are missed, they are hard to find again.
- Yes you can organize via Twitter. You can organize meetings and organize messages. It is a great utility, but to have a political movement you need to get everyday people involved. There are 200 million worldwide users of Facebook, where do you think everyday, non-politicos are located today?
- Like mobile text messages, Twitter is not a branding tool. It is a tool of direct action. Sure Obama announced Biden via a text message but in the corporate marketing world, that was about as noteworthy event as a new price promotion from Vonage.
I'm a huge fan of Twitter, but without content it is SPAM. Without a Republican message that will deliver better ideas than the Obama administration Twitter won't rescue us in 2010 or 2012. Tea Parties work because they are a great idea and the message delivered any non-politico can relate to. Let's not sing about our political Twitter prowess, let's try and come up with messages that will win the non-Twitter masses.