The “140 characters news cycle” uses #dodge & #answer hashtags on the campaign trail

Anthony DeRosa, social media lead at Reuters, as recently interviewed Adam Sharp, government liaison at Twitter.com, on the use of Twitter on the campaign trail and how it has turned the 24-hours news cycle into a 140 characters news cycle. Here are a few sound bites from the 3:00 minutes video:

Sharp observes that Twitter is now used to return to “retail politics” where the candidates have a direct connection to potential voters, personally introduce themselves and ask for votes.

A recent experiment with Fox News showed that Twitter can be used as a signal to measure public reaction to the presidential debates. The news station asked viewers to use the Twitter hashtags #dodge if the candidates did not answer the question, or the hashtag #answer if they had the impression that the candidate answered the question they were asked. The campaign teams were able to watch in real-time what the sentiments of their potential voters were toward their own candidate. It provides them with new insights that would have otherwise been massaged and edited as part of the 24-hours news cycle (going through the writing, editing, proofing, printing/uploading process), or campaign managers and press secretaries spinning of messages.

Here is the link to the video on YouTube:

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About Ines Mergel

I am Full Professor of Public Administration at the Department of Politics and Public Administration at University of Konstanz, Germany. Previously, I served as Assistant and then Associate Professor (with tenure) at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, NY. In my research, I focus on informal social networks in the public sector and the adoption and diffusion of digital service innovations in government organizations. I teach classes on social media management, digital government, public management, and social network analysis.

2 thoughts on “The “140 characters news cycle” uses #dodge & #answer hashtags on the campaign trail

  1. It’s fascinating how much impact Twitter is having on public life. Many dissertations can be written about it. Who would’ve thought a few years ago that a 140-character-limit means of communication could have become so popular. But there’s a significant community (myself included) who remain stumped over Twitter’s success and who fail to grasp how to use it or to enjoy it. It must have something to do with how our brains are wired.

    1. I think it also has to do with the value or use you get out of Twitter. It took me a while to find and then connect to the right network of people from whom I want to hear on a daily basis. I have an IBM report coming out at the end of May that walks you through different types of Twitter uses and provides tactics on Twitter can be useful. I will post the report here as soon as it is published.

      We also need to keep in mind that this is Twitter’s business model: They are now making money with selling big-data insights…

      Thanks for your comment!

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