Twitter found itself used yet again as a tool for political buzz, as Sen. John McCain and George Stephanopoulos used the messaging service in an interview that covered much of the day’s news.
Like Google‘s YouTube, blogging and other technology tools, Twitter has found use among politicians seeking to extend their brand out to the public through as many avenues as possible. In January, McCain joined Twitter and promptly began microblogging “tweets” on a variety of subjects large and small, ranging from economic bailouts to meeting with actor Richard Gere about Tibet.
Twitter’s use within the enterprise has undergone much debate, particularly as to whether it’s ultimately a useful tool or time-waster. There is also a security issue; even then-president-elect Obama had his Twitter account hacked in January.
McCain’s March 17 interview, dubbed a “Twitterview” by some in the blogosphere, attracted more attention in the hours leading up to it than your typical talking-heads discussion, and started off with the senator writing: “hi george im a little slow.”
However, as the interview progressed, he picked up speed – focusing on hot-button political issues such as the AIG bailout and Obama’s proposed budget:
“i voted for first tarp but that doesn’t mean i voted to bail out AIG.”
“I’m working with others on alternatives – cong paul ryan has some great ideas.”
Despite the space constraints of a typical “tweet,” McCain managed to end the half-hour interview with a burst of trademark gruff humor: “now i look forward to reading our followers comments and insults.”
The last campaign cycle saw a number of technologies come to the forefront, with Obama’s campaign managers embracing YouTube, Twitter and other sites in order to rally supporters in what would eventually become a victory over McCain. Since Obama’s election, the White House has used YouTube, and then Akamai, to disseminate its video message.