Are you better off? Or just a better Tweeter?

The Romney-Ryan campaign paid good money ($120,000 per day) for the Twitter hashtag #areyoubetteroff. Then they waited for the “no” answers to roll in. And waited. And waited.

According to the Daily Dot and the PRNewswire, “yes” answers outran “no” by a 3:1 margin in the first day.

Maybe because … we ARE better off than four years ago?

That might be a story. Or the story might be the craziness of Tweet-counting, the latest form of keeping track of the horse race without engaging with issues. Apparently the Democratic convention got lots more Tweets than the Republicans. You can find stats on how many Tweets-per-minute each speaker got. According to HuffPost:

President Obama’s speech last week at the DNC produced a record of 52,757 tweets a minute on Twitter. The week before, Governor Romney’s speech sparked 14,239 tweets a minute.

What does this kind of reporting mean? Do we need it — or is it just one more way to shift focus from issues to analytics?

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1 Comment

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One response to “Are you better off? Or just a better Tweeter?

  1. C. David Kearsley

    In the first instance, I suspect that there is a substantive difference between “analytics” and analysis. Personally, I think this tallying of tweets is neither, but instead represents fetishized numerical potpourri, a way for “journalists” to pretend that they know anything at all about quantitaive analysis. It is mostly useless…and it certainly is not “reporting”.

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