Twitter Replaces Fireside Chats?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Paul Boutin, a tech columnist for the New York Times wrote an article last May encouraging President Obama to use Twitter more frequently. Boutin felt that a few 140 character notes from the President could serve as abbreviated fireside chats and could give the White House positive PR.

About eight hours later, Epicenter writer Ryan Singel wrote a scathing reply begging Obama to stay off Twitter and focus on more important issues: running the country for instance.

Since this squabble, Obama's Twitter account has logged 548 tweets. The tone of this feed is less formal than that of the official White House Twitter feed which is run unapologetically by his staff. The White House feed has logged 831 tweets. Both of these accounts were created in May 2009.

Obama himself didn't tweet until the recent crisis in Haiti. On January 18, Obama pushed the 'send' button for a tweet written by someone else that was published on another's account.
Our technologically adept nation understands that much of the information we receive is given to us by staff members and personal assistants. We don't expect famous people to take time out of their busy days to fill us in. And, as far as the President is concerned, it is reassuring that he is too concerned with the nation's affairs to worry about projecting his personal image on a social networking site.
It's been a few months shy of a year, but I think both columnists got their wishes granted. The White House and the President have made a greater effort to connect with the people virtually, but the President has not neglected his duties to become more popular.


Brian Barker February 10, 2010 at 12:11 AM  

Google's "Babel Fish" translator will in never solve the language problem. Not only does it discriminate against anyone who cannot afford a mobile phone, but against minority language groups as well.

There are 6,800 languages worldwide, not fifty-two !

Moreover, if I met a native in Borneo, and he said to me in Hakka "I've lost my mobile phone" how would I understand him :) And how many starving Africans can afford a mobile phone !

As English loses its economic power, the answer is not for us to move to Mandarin Chinese, but to Esperanto which puts all speakers on an equal footing.

Have a look at or

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