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Fun with Twitter December 7, 2007

Posted by Michael McVey in Information, Online Tools.

obama twitter   For the last two months I have been playing with Twitter. For those of you who do not know what Twitter is, it is a kind of instant messaging program that limits you to 140 characters. The idea behind it is that you send out brief messages to your friends throughout the day just letting them know what you are up to are any interesting ideas that pop along into your head. There are also ways to the size of long URLs so they fit within the 140 character limitation.

I met several new colleagues at a conference in Macomb near Detroit just last month and I have added several of them to my Twitter list. These are the people that I follow are also two dozen or so people who follow me so that when I type a message these 24 people can see what I’m up to. It is also possible to have these messages sent to your cell phone as text messages. I don’t bother with that.

My colleagues don’t seem to be writing very much these days so I thought I would look around for some famous names and see if they are using Twitter . Of course there is a Twitter for GW Bush and for Bill Clinton but these are intended to be used for comic relief, a Joke Tweet of the Day of sorts. Instead I am choosing to follow several of the candidates in the upcoming presidential election.

If the degree to which candidates are in sync with what geeks are doing is any indication of how many votes they will get, the Democrats have won the next election hands down. This is an unscientific survey, to say the very least. I now follow Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Mike Huckabee, and Dennis Kucinich for brief Tweets from their campaign staff. I tried to follow Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani but neither of them had accounts set up.

Interestingly, Barack Obama’s campaign immediately replied and began to follow my tweets. This means that in all possibility somebody in his campaign is following all of the Twitter chatter to determine if there is any buzz about Obama. Presently Obama has 5,736 followers, Clinton has 145 (but hasn’t updated in months), Kucinich has only 37, and Huckabee has only 22 followers on Twitter. I will revisit this in a couple of months and see if Twitter numbers change.

Tweet me at mcveym.



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