Famous Names on Twitter – And Is It Going To Change The Face Of Politics?

(Originally posted 2007-03-14.)

On Twitter I once followed Steve Wozniak – but it turned out not to be him. 😦

Now I’m following John Edwards (and it really does appear to be him). See his Twitter page. I say “it does appear to be him” because the twitterings seem to support that conclusion, plus there is a photograph of him (not that that’s strong evidence). (The ones for the supposed Steve Wozniak never gave credence – it was just a name.) I also see someone claiming to be Barack Obama though this time there are no twitterings (and no photograph).

So there are two issues that come out of it:

  • How do you authenticate a voice when it claims to be someone – especially someone famous? And couldn’t someone sign up claiming to be eg Hillary Clinton and then post stuff damaging to her campaign?
  • Is this cheap-to-mount personal campaigning style going to change campaigning?

The precedent for all this is the famous person’s blog. I follow but one of these, BTW: Brian May’s. (And he’s only just conceded that his “soapbox” is indeed a blog.) 🙂 But this is a little different as Twitter is much lighter weight: It’s easy to throw out a one-liner in Twitter. It’s rather harder to do that with a blog: People expect more of you.

Published by Martin Packer

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