Like The Whispers on LOST, I’ve heard hushed chatter all day long about how Hillary is dropping out of the race tomorrow. Naturally, I raised an eyebrow when my email informed me that @Hillary2008 was started following my Twitter account today. Back before October of last year, I started following presidential candidates wise enough to be using technology to their advantage. Edwards, Thompson, and Obama used it the best.
Now I can’t remember which one but one of the candidates even opened Twitter up for questions while he was on CNN (or some other live show); unfortunately I was walking out the door and didn’t get to fire off any questions nor watch the program. What a powerful way to use the Internet! Putting Twitter ahead of the reporters and phones!
Early on, it became evident that @Hillary2008 was not the real Hillary Clinton. Today Hillary2008 follows 787 people and is followed by 829 people. The real Hillary Clinton appears to be @HillaryClinton and follows 0 people with 4,140 people following her which means she doesn’t understand Twitter. (Randy, are you listening? 0/66) Barack Obama at @BarackObama is following 35,777 people and has 34,765 people following him; his updates are frequent and does not read like a staffer is trying to impersonate him. Seems early on in the campaign that @BarackObama even sent @ replies to followers (but I cannot find an example right now).
I personally belief that either the people behind Hillary2008 gave the account over to the campaign or decided to start working it as true Hillary fans that actually understand the technology. What’s to understand about Twitter? It’s bi-directional. We use our feed readers and RSS for push news and headlines. If all you are doing is using Twitter to push your urls and try to get people to your site, then for all practical purposes, you are a spammer. Even news sites like @Knoxnews responds to its followers. If you listen to them, they’ll listen to you! @SantaClaus is a hoot! Not only does he work the Twitter account around the holiday, but he responds to almost everyone that mentions him and he does year round! Interactivity is the key to Twitter. Of course, Leo Laporte breaks this theory by following 441 people and having 39821 people follow him. He’s this anomaly I just haven’t figured out yet. Of course, as much as I can’t figure out why you would want to follow him (and his ego), I find myself that compelled to follow more of him. Long and short of it, if you have a zero in either following or followers, you are using Twitter poorly.