Twitter the political tool

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We are all familiar with Twitter as a communication tool. A form of personal RSS. What has become more evident in recent months is Twitter’s ability to wield political influence. In April, the people of Moldova used Twitter to help organize their revolt. Moldovans used #pman; an acronym for Piaţa Marii Adunări Naţionale which is a large square in the capital city, to string information together. The revolution in the end failed and some seem to suggest it was staged. The link for #pman above shows results on Twitter Search and it looks like there is still quite a bit of activity with this tag. Unfortunately I don’t read the language so I can’t tell if they’re talking politics or  sharing recipes.

Three months later in Iran, a user called TehranBureau was pumping information out to the world about the protests that were taking place after the reelection of Ahmadinejad. Soon more users were tweeting about what was going on.

These two incidents, and to a lesser degree Twitter’s trending show that Twitter has on some level successfully achieved their goal of becoming the “pulse of the planet“, so much that the CIA has invested in social media monitoring firm, Visible Technologies. This is going to get interesting . . .

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I'm an Associate Teaching Professor of Digital Marketing at the Daniels College of Business, University of Denver. I also consult with startups and established brands. I'm currently focused on artificial intelligence, cognitive neuroscience and culture. I am married to an amazing woman and have two incredible children. I was raised in Colorado and spend my free time with family, biking, snowboarding and going to the Pacific Ocean to SCUBA dive and/or surf. I'm passionate about architecture, design, street art, photography and the art that tattooing has evolved into.

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