At first I thought the Twitter coverage of the election was a spectacular thing. It was fascinating to see in real time people’s reactions to the first debate.
I noticed that the audience composition of those participating in #debate08 was actually relatively balanced. Maybe not as many McCain supporters as Obama supporters, but there weren’t as many of “The L Words” in there as I thought. Super scientific, I know, but the pro-McCain comments were not lacking is the point.
To that end, as this second debate was unfolding, I started to notice that the comments were primarily in a few clusters.
1. Sound & Fury Signifying Nothing: Trash talk about the candidates styles, nothing on substance, general snarkiness.
2. I’ve Got a Bat and the Horse Isn’t Dead Yet: Random regurgitation’s of facts and figures on specific topics being discussed that only a person who is voting based on a particular issue would know about.
3. Fact Checking Lurkers: Not sure if they’re w/ the various campaigns, but some well-informed people seeming to plant well-timed topics.
And then I shut my laptop.
I realized that those three categories meant you were dealing w/ people who, by and large, had already made up their mind. They’re just playing a tennis match at this point and I’m wagging my neck around as the ball goes back and forth. It’s not helping me one bit.
I realized I was looking at everyone else’s thoughts and throwing out my own pithy 140 character or less quips based on the soundbites of the debate I was able to catch when not reading everyone else’s comments about the debate that was on the TV about 8-10 feet past the laptop with which I was enthralled.
I’m not really sure how I’m feeling about Twitter’s use in this way now, but I do know I won’t be on the laptop for round 3 next week. I’m thinking there is some fascinating evaluation that needs to be done to see what it all means and how it can be better used to influence because I can tell you for this indie it’s not all that influential.