Posts Tagged ‘ twitter ’

Obama Tweet Authorship Signals Web 2.0 Campaign in 2012

Obama Texting

Credit: Charles Ommanney/Getty Images

On June 17th, an Obama 2012 campaign staffer made a post explaining that Obama’s Twitter and Facebook presence would be handled differently going forward. As fellow Cyborgology editor Nathan Jurgenson recently discussed, Obama’s posts and updates have, up until now, been ghostwritten—leading Jurgenson to conclude that “Obama-as-president has thus far been a Web 1.0 leader” and, thus, to ask “when will we see a Web 2.0, social media president?” Obama’s use of social media has been in sharp contrast to other nationally-recognized politicians, including former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, whose tweets appear to be individually-authored, spontaneous, and personal, making them appear more authentic and more consistent with the norms of other Twitter users (spelling errors and all). The president is now getting into the game by authoring his own tweets.

The campaign update, titled, “A New Approach to Facebook and Twitter,” states:

Obama for America staff will now be managing both accounts, posting daily updates from the campaign trail, from Washington, and everywhere in between. You’ll be hearing from President Obama regularly, too; on Twitter, tweets from the President will be signed “-BO.”

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Recap: Social Media and Egypt’s Revolution

The protests in Egypt have been front and center in the American media over the previous two weeks. We were greeted with daily updates about former President Mubarak’s grasp on power, and, ultimately, his resignation. Buried in all the rapidly unfolding events were numerous stories about social media and its role in the revolution. I think it may be useful to aggregate all these stories as we begin to analyze how important social media was (if at all) to the revolution – and, also, whether the revolution has significant implications for social media.

As a prelude to the unrest in Egypt (and Tunisia) several cables conveying communications between US diplomats and the State Department were leaked to Wikileaks. The connection between these leaks and the protests in Tunisia was covered in the Guardian and the Village Voice. Journalists, ever eager for a sexy headline, quickly labeled Tunisia “The First Wikileaks Revolution.” The cables also brought global attention to “routine and pervasive” police brutality under the Mubarak regime, giving increased legitimacy to dissident groups.

After Tunisia’s President Ben Ali fell, unrest quickly spread to Egypt. Largely unprepared to cover the event, the Western media was forced to rely on Twitter feeds (as well as Al Jazeera) as a primary source for reporting. (For an excellent analysis of the most watched Twitter feeds see Zeynep Tufekci’s “Can ‘Leaderless Revolutions’ Stay Leaderless: Preferential Attachment, Iron Laws and Networks.”) Continue reading

Liquid Charity

Sea of Phones(Reposted from Sociology Lens)

In the ten days following the earthquake that devastated Haiti’s capital, Americans used text messaging to donate over $30 million. Text messaging has been prominent in the news as of late. Candidate Obama shocked supporters by announcing his vice presidential pick using this new medium. In 2008, Nielson reported that the average teen sends a whopping 2,272 messages a month. A new term, “sexting,” entered popular usage following several high profile cases of teens being expelled or even charged with distribution of child pornography. The Pew Internet and American Life Center reported in 2009 that 15% of teens ages 12-17 received sexually explicit images of people they know. Texting has proven the most dangerous common distraction to drivers. The first images of the plane that crash-landed in the Hudson were uploaded to the Web from the cell phone of a passenger on a nearby boat. The incident was also Twittered by a survivor. Then, of course, there were the protests to the recent Iranian elections, which used personal mobile communication devices to subvert state-run media.

Each of these incidences share a common theme: traditional practices were supplanted in favor of a new set of behaviors associated with mobile communications. That’s the what, but as a social theorist, I suggest we also ought to consider the why. I think Zymgunt Bauman, a remarkably prolific octogenarian sociologist, has a lot to offer us here. Bauman famously speaks of “liquid modernity” where traditional social structures are melting away and fading ambiguously into one another. He argues that things which are liquid, flowing, and mobile tend to undo things which are rigid, solid, and stable.

Mobile communication networks increasingly provide concrete examples supporting Bauman’s theory and Haiti is only the latest instance. The cell phone has made transferring money more immediate, more flexible, and simpler than even the credit card. People need only reach into their pockets for a device which is already profoundly integrated into their lives and dial a few numbers. Within seconds, the transaction is complete and money has flowed from one node in the network to another. The power of such fluid networks is that, with minimal cost in time and money (most were $10 contributions) to individuals, enormous resources can be mobilized. The political implications of this new fluid and hyper-networked reality should not be lost on us.

Square-eye “Mobile giving to help Haiti exceeds $30 million” by Suzanne Choney

Square-eye “Teaching and Learning Guide for: Social Implications of Mobile Telephony: The Rise of Personal Communication Society” by Scott W. Campbell and Yong Jin Park

Where’s the Money in Prosumption: Predictions for 2010

(Reposted from Sociology Lens)

A recent article in the New York Times, “Experts Predict 2010 the Year for Social Media ROI” summarizes a Trendspotting.com report entitled “TrendsSpotting’s 2010 Social Media Influencers – Trend Predictions in 140 Characters.” The Trendspotting.com post identifies six trends to look out for in social media over the coming year: “Mobile, Location, Transparency, Measurement, ROI, [and] Privacy.” The Times article focuses, particularly, on return on investment. The articles reports three strategies for garnering profit from user-generated content (i.e., prospecting, stewardship, and advocacy) but fails to provide much analysis. Viewing the proliferation of user-generated content from a sociological perspective, I’d like to consider the prospects for these three strategies.

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