Twitter *is* a strategy (UPDATED draft)

DRAFT!  Work in progress.  Feedback welcome!

Update, April 27: This thread sparked and tied in with substantial discussion elsewhere — see the bottom of the main post for additional links.  I developed my thoughts in Cognitive evolution and revolution, which I presented at Politics Online; the blog post and comments also document a couple of successful examples of Twitter as a strategy for diversity in male-, white- and elitist-dominated environments. I wonder why it’s so hard for some people to accept that (1) I know what strategy is, (2) I’ve been treating Twitter as a strategy, and (3) it’s working?

Update, April 2017: This has held up pretty well!  I fixed some typos and links

Too often, Twitter is the enemy of complex thought, not its friend — if you’re on Twitter yourself, look at your last few weeks’ posts and see what fraction of your potential mental capability they actually express. Probably not much: that’s not what the tool is good for.

— Colin Delany in Twitter is not a strategy on e.Politics and techPresident

Yeap – Twitter is NOT a Strategy |

— @IsCool, on Twitter

Help me make #CA10 the next skittles. We can do this. #gov20 #opengov #p2
Adriel Hampton on Twitter

Somebody’s missing what’s going on here and I don’t think it’s Adriel.

Adriel’s such an outsider in the campaign for Ellen Tauscher’s congressional seat that he isn’t even mentioned in  in Steven Luo’s detailed roundup in Race for rare open Bay Area Congressional seat heats up in California Beat.  After he announced his campaign on Twitter, though, there were articles in Politico, National Journal’s Hotline On Call, , and the Sacramento Bee.  And it’s not just about the buzz.  From Evan McMorris-Santoro’s Word On The Tweet: Raising Money, Tweet By Tweet

“This is about digital accessibility,” he said when asked why he chose Twitter. “It’s a way to regularly communicate wih the thousands of people we are supposed to represent. … My plan is touch many people electronically during the day but still be able to hug my kids every night.”

I’ll talk more about Adriel’s longshot campaign in the upcoming “Skittles for Congress”.    He’s far from the only one who sees Twitter as a strategy, though.  Over the last eight months #dontgo, Twitter Vote Report, Motrin Moms, #tcot, and #taxcuts have all gotten high-profile media coverage.*  Brian Carter’s Twitter for Charities and Non-Profits: 3 Case Studies + Tips on Search Engine People has a few more examples of Twitter as a strategy: Tweetsgiving, One Day for Human Rights, and 12Kfor12K.  There are solid numbers and some excellent suggestions.  From the UK, Justgiving’s excellent description of their Twitter strategy discusses how it fits into their overall plans.

More recently in The #p2 Hashtag and Strategies for Progressives on Twitter, Tracy Viselli and I proposed three explicitly Twitter-based strategies including using Twitter as a base for “flash actions” and a place to engage with communities currently marginalized by the progressive blogosphere.  In Ask the President‘s recent project, Twitter based activism was effective both for the voting (at the communityCOUNTS site) and the results that really matter: responses from President Obama on for some questions that don’t get a lot of attention from the traditional media or the progressive blogosphere, connections with journalists on Twitter.

And as I write this, watching the #G20 Twitter feed for info about what’s happening in London, the US Trade representative is about to give a briefing to the 50 G20 Voice bloggers.  @G20Voice just sent out a request for questions, and the links on #G20Voice give enough info that I — or anybody else — can make some suggestions or give feedback on others ideas.  Links point me — and everybody else — to the summit communique, live video stream, Oxfam’s statement, … and information about the two anti-poverty NGOs whose credentials were withdrawn at the last moment.

I wonder what the US Trade Representative thinks of that?  Maybe I can find out.

Wake up and smell the coffee.

twitter logoTwitter is a strategy.


PS: updated to include the Twitter logo so it’ll look better when I post to Facebook.

*  Tracy Viselli and I survey these and provide links in Building engaged communities that act , our presentation for the Nevada Interactive Media Conference.

UPDATE, April 4: There are also comments (with extensive cross-posting) on the ProgressiveExchange email list, in Colin Delany’s thread Strategy or tool?  On the metaphysics of Twitter on e.Politics, and Alan Rosenblatt’s Is Twitter a Strategy?  Like, come on! on K Street Cafe.

UPDATE, April 25: Colin Delany’s On the Internet, No One Knows Your Revolution Is a Dog continues the debate. My presentation and followon post on Cognitive evolution and revolution document an example of Twitter as a strategy for diversity in a male-, white- and elitist-dominated environment. Charlotte-Anne Lucas’ The Twitters tells the story from #isoj is another proof point which illustrates langauge and geography diversity. Thanks to @HumanFolly, @digitalsista, @PoliticiansTV, @JulieG, @AriMelber, @drdigipol, @epolitics, @holdie1, @myrnatheminx, @SorenDayton and others for the discussion!