Friday, October 29, 2010

Twitter and the Municipal Election

I think one of the more interesting character on The Simpsons is Comic Book Guy. I know from reading that he was chose to be an exact stereotype of a comic book store owner. Wikipedia has this comment about Comic Book Guy:
Comic Book Guy was in fact partly inspired by a clerk at the Los Angeles Amok book shop who often "[sat] on the high stool, kind of lording over the store with that supercilious attitude and eating behind the counter a big Styrofoam container full of fried clams with a lot of tartar sauce.[1]" Groening noted:
“ I can't tell you how many times people have come up to me and said, 'I know who you based that comic book guy on. It's that comic-book guy right down the block.' And I have to tell them, 'No, it's every comic-bookstore guy in America.'

Besides his comment on everything being the "Worst. (fill in the blank). Ever." He has a tendency to look down on everybody who doesn't know what happen in Issue 24 of the Amazing Spiderman. It's an air of superiority that is irrelevent because when all is said and done, who cares?

I thought about Comic Book Guy as I read Amber MacArthur's recent article in The Globe and Mail. The title was "Could a social media plan have helped Smitherman?"

Now true confession time: I am a fan of Amber Mac, I watch her podcast CommandN and listen to her and Leo Laporte on Net@Nite. However I think the basic premise is wrong. Her heading says it all, if only George Smitherman had used Twitter more, he would be the mayor of Toronto not Rob Ford. There is only one slight problem, if you studied the tweets after Rob Ford was declared elected, the virtriol was effusive. I think one person on cp24 opined that the tweets with the hashtag #cp24votes were running 90% against Ford. It seems the twitterista were already in Smitherman's camp. How could he have motivated them through Twitter. I suppose by getting them out to vote. I could be wrong but I didn't see a whole lot of those names with tweets such as "I just cast my vote!". Perhaps they were so busy expressing their thoughts in 140 characters, they missed their chance. So now the bitterness, all of which demonstrates they are out of touch, not those who voted for Ford.

This goes back to Comic Book Guy, I keep hearing that Twitter only works if you understand it. There are those who get it and the rest, the mainstream, the Straights don't. They are the same group that left their VCR's flashing "12:00". They only time they got involved or interested with Twitter is when some celebrity got on, such as Oprah. So Twitter User Guy/Gal looks down on those who don't use Twitter. Can I make a suggestion? Perhaps the mainstream does understand Twitter and what they understand is that it can be a huge waste of time. Now I do use twitter. There are times it very helpful; when an earthquake hit Ontario and Quebec I went on Twitter to learn how far the effects were felt and then later on information about the quake. But usually what happens is tweets become variations of the theme "I'm in my bean bag chair, eating popcorn". It does have a place, for getting news out, and a good way to get your 'brand' before the public. However it fails as a means of two way communication. Try to reply to a message, see if you get a dialogue going.

Of course the other problem is that people who tweet can be total dorks, witness Innovation Minister Glen Murray, he decided to call all the people he doesn't like 'bigots', in a tweet. Of course he offered a couple of apologies, then after three days he got off the weasel apology and actually did apologize. For some reason I thought if you wrote something untrue its called 'slander'.

Perhaps the mainstream is not there, not because they don't get it, but because they do. It's like the flashing 12, it's not that people couldn't figure out how to set it, but after a few power outages, you get tired of setting it, and since you're only watching tapes, why have the clock set?

No comments: