Saturday, December 27, 2008

Twitter, TCOT, & You

I'd like to take a few minutes here and talk about a couple of interesting things recently. I've had friends on Twitter for quite a while, probably going back to when it started, but I never was interested in getting involved in it until recently. That happened when Hugh Hewitt decided to talk about Twitter on his program, and then several times after that. He feels that offerings like Twitter (and Facebook, and MySpace, etc.) are going to be crucial parts of the effort to win back Congress in 2010 for the Republicans. I tend to agree, if only because the Democrats & Messiah-Elect Obama made such a strong use of them during the 2008 election.

Then, he had on a couple of gentleman who had created a sort-of tag-a-long website called "Top Conservatives On Twitter" aka TCOT. ( The site is based on self-identified conservatives, and ranks them based on the number of folks following their Twitter feeds. It went live on 11/28/08, and as of this writing has 1607 people on their list. As a person who considers himself a conservative but has registered as an Independent and a Libertarian over the years, this appealed to me. I rarely identify as a Republican. So I signed up for Twitter, and within a few hours I signed up for the TCOT list on 12/6/8. As of this morning I am #83 on the TCOT list, and 1505 people allegedly follow my "tweets" on Twitter. Not too shabby.

The potential for all of this is enormous. This is a chance for folks who previously felt they had no voice to be heard. Real people in the Conservative movement are on Twitter and they are reading the Tweets. I know I thought it was cool when I saw that Fred Thompson was now following my Tweets...:D

We had the first TCOT "Tweetup" in Dallas on 12/24, and about a dozen folks showed up (considering it was Xmas Eve, that was pretty good!). Half of the people who did were folks like me who were not previously involved in anything significant politically other than bitching and complaining to friends and family. Now we have a group that is getting attention. The Heritage Foundation has taken notice of the group. And the opinion of the list co-founder, Michael Leahy, that Michael Duncan should remove himself from the running to be RNC Chair caused a huge stir beyond Twitter, which shows how significant this all is.

TCOT has also spawned a news site, "The TCOT Report," that includes both major stories and smaller ones that may not hit the major news channels. It also includes links to the Blogs of TCOT members (note to TCOT folks, if your blog is not on their, send @michaelpleahy a tweet to have it added!).

To follow the discussion of the TCOT group on Twitter, go to the TCOT Report and read the feed on the site. If you agree with anything being discussed, I encourage you to go to the TCOT site and signup for the list (and join Twitter, of course, if needed).

(Thus ends my serious blog entry of the week. Comedy will resume with the next entry...:D)

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