Following the Candidate

I follow Will Richardson on Twitter (among others…) It’s interesting to read the comments and track the updates as you can follow some of these leaders as they go about doing what it is that they are doing. Today, he made an interesting observation.

Barack Obama is on Twitter.

So, I hopped over and sure enough, he has a Twitter presence. I checked out the history of his updates and it’s fascinating reading. It’s a virtual timeline of major happenings in his attempt to become the next president. Within the hour, I get the notification that he’s now following me.

I’m trying to get a grip on how a politician would use social networking and it makes a great deal of sense. Follow your candidates and get a sense of what’s really happening and not just what makes the 6:00 news. From a candidate’s perspective, you can control what message that you get out and it doesn’t go through a network producer/editor. And, unlike a major speech, the candidate has to get the message across in 140 characters. Best of all, it’s free.

I’m sure that someone must have taken the time to do a mashup on an internet mapping service of all of the candidate’s public appearances. You’ve got to believe that they are getting with the program and understanding another aspect of their constituency. Now, we’re not talking about millions of followers so the presence isn’t necessarily going to put the candidate over the top. However, it does serve to show that he’s trying to connect with voters and I’m sure the efforts will make a piece on a major news source as they take a turn at showing how candidates try to be young and in touch.

Flip back and Hillary Clinton is there as well. I’m not quite naive enough to think that these major candidates are doing the twittering themselves each time. It’s interesting to read and insightful however it is created.

Unfortunately for them though, this follower is Canadian.

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