Of Twitter

I don't tweet. I'm probably not going to. But it's clearly become a part of the political communication stream.

Twitter's part of a newer segment of communication, along with MySpace, Facebook, and email, where the audience initiates the relationship. It will never reach the same critical mass as TV and radio (and Internet?) ads, but the different quality of the audience is tantalizing for political communication.

Although it's easy to make fun of Chuck Grassley's and John McCain's exploits, the audience-initiated media should be more than just a dumping ground for press releases and talking points. This article from WaPo on NFL players, offers an alternative.
While athletes have used blogs the past couple of years, they say Twitter is quicker, more accessible and less likely to be filtered through agents, publicists or team officials before publication. From the perspective of both fan and athlete, that's a good thing. But the National Football League is an image-obsessed league, routinely beset by athletes' off-the-field antics. Twitter has already grown into a social media tool over which the league has little to no control.

It's dangerous, sure, but Twitter should be used to give the engaged political audience a window into the mundane side of politics. Maybe that mundacity has to be invented, but no one wants to read more of the same headlines on Twitter that they've seen on Facebook, TV, the newspaper, etc.

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