So Far, Twitter Falters On The Political Front

This weekend, the Personal Democracy Forum hosted a Twitter-only political experiment. The participants gave it the old college try, including a Time magazine blogger and Obama and McCain representatives. At least so far, Twitter falters on the political front.

My main complaint is that it’s too hard to follow the topics among the participants. Also there’s no simple way to browse all their tweets together, beyond the most recent 20 messages. Finally, a search mechanism is conspicuously missing in action.


To see the commentary, please link to any of these formats: (1) individual tweets from Time’s Ana Marie Cox, Mike Nelson for Obama, and Liz Mair for McCain; (2) side-by-side tweets from all three; and (3) mixed tweets based on time posted.

One bright light? The participants intended to communicate about the presidential candidates’ tech policies and positions. Everyone adhered to that mission pretty faithfully, and here are a few tweets about net neutrality:

* For the last q tonite, we acknowledge the elephant in the tweets: Net neutrality. Responses in the AM, pls. (Jun 21 22:21:31)
* JSM warns “caution” ( ) abt the gov’t enforcing net neutrality-that means he’s against it, y? (Jun 22 17:14:59)
* Re: Net Neutrality. Barack has set clear goal of NN and an open Internet: (Jun 22 18:18:10)
* What I’ve said previously being noted, JSM favors market-based approach except where gov’t intervention abs. nec. (Jun 22 19:45:49)
* But note JSM pledge to seek perm. ban on internet taxes & track record of leadership on keeping net free of taxes. (Jun 22 19:46:20)

While Twitter messages seem almost long enough to say something, it takes too much effort to “connect the dots” among the participants. Old-fashioned chat rooms worked better than this!

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