Politics in a Twitter World
For a work project recently, I got to talk with someone who is actually using Twitter to connect with people and information to help her year-long fellowship to bring technology to remote parts of the world. While puttering, I signed up on Twitter to follow the Obama campaign. Within 4 minutes, Obama was following me back. Ah, automation.
Now that's "no bake" community. Obviously, they want to know what I think and are just waiting for me to tweet the words politics, campaign, Obama and goodness knows what else. After all, in 140 characters or less, I could type something that would change the world! More likely, I could be part of the measurable masses revolting by tweeting. LOL. Being followed back by Obama's campaign folk made me...a little ticklish- aw shucks!
But it is apparent that something is starting to happen with all the social mediums out there. They started with a Gen Y, 'text-me-don't-call-me' feel and an sense of idealism that someone somewhere out there is listening to what we type (wherever we're typing it). And today, I got an invitation to a Facebook group, "If McCain becomes President, I'm moving to Europe." I agree with the sentiment, but let's be frank about what a useless fucking waste of time something like that is. That's where some users of Facebook falls short. Other groups are using it to be so much more organized, so much more educational.
But I want to focus on Twitter. I think Twittalicious needs to be introduced. I haven't found a Twitter feed yet that falls into this category, but the meaning here is: a twitter feed that's really fantastic and worth keeping up with. Frankly (myself included), the medium is cluttered with personal voices living in real-time. The entertainment veneer gets cast over the whole thing. So when the important stuff does begin to rise to the top, we may need a Twitter search engine (like the kind the Obama campaign is using) to help us weed out the important stuff.
A great dictionary of the vocabulary that has evolved around the twitter medium can be found in this post at Lolo's Way. According to Laurel, the name of the category of search technology I want is: TwitterLinkr. Shouldn't that be built into Google? It's probably launching tomorrow.
Also with Twitter, I haven't had as much delight improvising words and meanings on the fly as I've had working with the word. And apparently, there is a word for what I'm doing. And I'm not the only one. I'm an official "portmantrepreneur." (That's portmanteau + entrepreneur for those of you getting nauseous and wishing this post would stop with the linguistic g-force). Here's my humble list of additions to Lauren's collection:
Twittituity- When vampituity (improvising in perpetuity) happens via Twitter- my favorite (though not something I foresee I'll be doing often).
Twange- Noun form of what is created by Twittering for change (social action)
Twicklish- What you feel when someone you choose to "follow," follows you back. What I felt getting followed by Obama.
Twickled- The past tense verb form of what's been done to you when someone chooses to follow your twitter feed.
Twitonians- That's what I'm calling this growing ecosystem of twitterers. I especially like that "twit," stands out in my mind in this particular derivation. It's great self-deprecation. Brits have such gorgeous insult words!