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Friday, January 22, 2010

The First American Twitter Revolution

The mainstream media finally is waking up to the under-the-radar social media revolution which hid in plain sight in the Massachusetts Senate special election. As reported by the Wall Street Journal:

A study [embedded below] conducted by the Emerging Media Research Council out today found that Brown had a more effective strategy of using social networking tools including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to promote his campaign and connect with supporters....

The study concludes that Brown’s use of social media helped in several ways, including boosting his name recognition both in and out of Massachusetts.

As documented here numerous times, and by Sissy Willis, the effective use of social media was an important part of the Brown victory.

Social media has been important before, particularly in Obama's campaign, but the role of Twitter in this election was unique.

While Facebook and blogs were important to fundraising and messaging, Twitter is what allowed pro-Brown activists to stay in contact with each other, to feed each other news links, and generally to keep up each other's spirits at a time when the radar was showing that Brown had no chance.

I don't think it is an exaggeration to say that this was the first American Twitter revolution.

Social Media Use in the Massachusetts 2010 Senate Special Election

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  1. John Culberson:

    "We could move heaven and earth when the American people understand the power of social media, and everybody is simultaneously, of their own free will, asking their elected representatives to take action. There's not an elected official in the nation who could withstand that. And we the people, we'll take back our government — once people understand how easy this is.


  2. I am very concerned about the dependency on one particular site or service like Twitter. Twitter, in particular, is uncertain regarding its business model and suffered a debilitating DoS attack in recent memory that knocked it off-line for days. If you think that Democrats will hesitate to buy botnet time in front of the next election, you are fooling yourself. Blogs are better distributed and more resilient (although Legal Insurrection is not a part of that resiliency due to being hosted on Blogger). So, leaning heavily on Twitter may prove costly, I am afraid.

  3. You've nailed it! How tweet it is. : )