Did you catch today’s story over at CNN.com about GOP leaders vying for the Republican National Committee chairmanship and turning to Twitter to air their views and gain support?
President-elect Barack Obama is the rationale, writes Alexander Mooney, for “he appeared to revolutionize the way technology could be integrated into every facet of a campaign — from fundraising to media outreach to voter mobilization.”
The Republican Party is playing catch-up, hoping to compete with Democrats in the next two pivotal election cycles.
“It would be suicide for the Republican Party and conservatives to not aggressively embrace technology,” said Matt Lewis, a writer for the conservative Web site Townhall.com. “The world is dramatically changing in the way people get their information and the way they communicate — the party needs to change with it.”
Dear CNN, presuming you are reading this sentence (perhaps stemmed from a Twitter message or two I sent to some of you as a means of brewing some in-house viral marketing), your story has some internal links pointing to keywords within topics.cnn.com, which is great for search engine optimization and for readers to click into in-depth reports, but you don’t use external links.
The six declared candidates all keep active on Twitter, along with Facebook and a host of other sites, seemingly caught in an at-times comedic contest of who possesses the most online bona fides.
It’s a clear sign the candidates know that the party is in need of a technology overhaul, said Patrick Ruffini, an online Republican strategist and veteran of President Bush’s 2000 campaign and the RNC.
Again, why not link to @PatrickRuffini on Twitter?
Moreover, why not include links (or even in-text profile names) for the various candidates on Twitter?
- Saul Anuzis, Michigan Republican chair: @sanuzis
- Ken Blackwell, former Ohio Secretary of State: @kenblackwell
- Katon Dawson, South Carolina Republican chair: @katondawson
- Chip Saltsman, former Tennessee Republican chair: @chipsaltsman
- Michael Steele, former Maryland lieutenant governor: @steele4chair
By clicking their Twitter links, you can see each of them are replying to people, retweeting others, and engaging with the American people. I wish I could say the same for @barackobama during the campaign, where every tweet was a broadcasted message pointing to a press release. How boring!
Oh… and Jim Duncan
and Michael Steele are is apparently not on Twitter At least, I can’t find them and they’re not or referenced in the official #RNCChair hashtag stream. (Unless if you count Duncan as the “voice” behind the official @RNC account.)
The takeaway is clear to me: Many politicians are grasping the importance of Twitter (and Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, and other social networks) as pivotal to their campaigns.
I hope they get the recognition they deserve — and I strongly suggest that regardless which way the election turns, they remain engaged. Don’t be like Obama and give up the tweeting just because you move on to greener pastures.
I also hope CNN can find a way to link to relevant sites outside their domain.
What do you think, fine members of Twitterville and the blogosphere?
Please add a comment below, or tweet me!