Sunday, November 2, 2008

Twitter's a force in the election

As the election approaches, I think we all can agree, regardless of whether our hearts bleed red or blue, that Twitter has had a significant impact on politics in campaign 2008. Of course, Barack Obama is the most popular person on Twitter. But beyond that, Twitter has had a dramatic impact on giving people a voice this year. Twitter implemented and it's been captivating. Tuesday night, the tweets will be moving so quickly that it will be hard to read, sort of like the stock ticker in October. Hopefully, with a better result for you.

The Twitter Vote Report seeks to monitor activity and protect from irregularities at all polling places. According to the vote report, "Millions of Americans will be voting this Election Day. Many of these voters will have terrific experiences and we’d love to hear about those. But many voters will experience voting problems that we have been hearing about for years: long lines, broken machines, and registered voters who can’t vote because their names aren’t showing up on the registration rolls.

Using Twitter Vote Report, voters will be able to share their experiences and resources with one another (e.g. “#wait:120″ meaning that the wait time is 120 minutes). These messages will then be aggregated and mapped so that we can “see” voting problems around the country in real-time."

This election season has seen the integration of Mainstream media with Twitter. Current TV will be displaying selected content from Twitter users who use the hashtag, #current, on air. In addition, their website will not only show the #current tweets, but allow users to vote for content, digg-style. We've seen how CNN has incorporated the Twitter feed into its coverage during the debates and hurricanes with Rick Sanchez. I am sure we will see similar coverage on Tuesday night.

Last week, Mark McKinnon of Internet Evolution wrote in Twitter's Role in Digital Democracy, how Twitter was filling an important gap in digital democracy by acting as the Town Hall and being an expressive medium for citizens to engage in our government. The article demonstrates how people have been given a real voice in the electoral process. All of these posts and sites can be found in my delicious political twitter tags, politicaltweets.

We get our news first on Twitter and Tuesday night, I am sure we will get election news first as well. Will you be watching Twitter and these sites to stay in the know?

Happy Voting!

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