My usual attitude about following Twitter is that I read that stuff so you don’t have to. Twitter, for those of use who might find themselves challenged in the social media milieu, is a microblogging and social networking site. Users send each other “tweets”, which are limited to 140 characters and often include “hashtags” (short hand references) and “tiny urls” (links to articles on the web that have been shortened to fit the format).
Twitter as a social network revolves around the principle of followers. Opt to follow another user and that person’s tweets appear in reverse sequential order when you log on. Most of what you end up seeing is predictably banal, not unlike people’s status updates on Facebook. The company estimates that 65 million messages are posted daily. An analysis of what actually being said on Twitter by one marketing firm breaks it down this way:
- Pointless babble — 41%
- Conversational — 38%
- Pass-along value — 9%
- Self-promotion — 6%
- Spam — 4%
- News — 4%
None-the-less, its popularity has soared, given that it’s easy to use on most texting devices. I’ve found it to useful in following other newshounds around town, and the OB Rag certainly uses the medium to promote our stories. I followed the political maneuvering that ended up with the sales tax initiative being placed on the November ballot (Proposition D) and found that Twitter was a valuable tool for gaining insight on the behind-the-scenes action that took place at City Hall.
This morning I discovered a new Twitter user that gave me a new sense of respect for the system. His/her name is “WhatKevinMeans” and the stream of posts is supposed to function as a “translating service” for the pearls of wisdom emanating from none other than our City Councilman, Kevin Falconer. It’s a hoot, and does a great job of shedding some light on the daily maneuverings of our elected representative as he tacks right and supports Republithinking Councilman Carl DeMaio on tax issues, and his thoughtful poses as he panders to the crowd while daydreaming about his chances of being elected Mayor in 2012. It’s some satisfyingly snarky political satire about San Diego.
So, without further ado, I present the “best of” WhatKevinMeans as Tweeted over the past couple of weeks:
Let’s just be clear, I am ready to let this mother (the sales tax) burn if I’m the guy who gets to stand on the smoldering heap when it’s over.
This look I call “Pensive Kev,” it’s what I use when I’m daydreaming about the 11th floor.
Back to talking points – We need to budget like a family, with reform, and tightening our belts, and… help me out here @carldemaio
Will someone call a PR company? Some better messaging will get us out of this crisis… If only a PR pro could run this city…
Maybe if I can get people to believe I’m being attacked personally, they will forget that I’m being attacked for total lack of real policy.
Listen folks, if you attack my half-ass, no dollar sign bs-a-thon of a plan, then you’re attacking me… and I’m sensitive :(
Ok, fine, let’s brainstorm new campaign slogans. “Roll the dice with Kevin and Carl, what’s the worst that could happen?”
“Pay another penny for my latte? Over my dead body… er, unless I might actually die because my fire station closes…”
Ok, how bout this. My plan isn’t vague or what you might call “devoid of any numbers grounded in reality.” It’s “efficient.”
Oh crap. I just said a real number. Walk back walk back walk back.
At no point did I mean to suggest that I have any idea how much money I’m talking about.
Fine! I get it! 20 million is like a bazillion cops and a gaggle of fire stations. I never said I was a mathematician…
I just woke up from a nightmare. I was at a press conference talking about my deficit plan and my 5th grade teacher told me to show my work.
And if you disagree with that, please refer to my previous non-existent statement on the subject.
The other day I told my staff to hire another person, ya know, because of all this reforming that is to be done.
They said, “Well we’d love to, but we don’t have any money in the budget.”
So I said “Can’t we just get some efficiencies out of the system? Reform some of our processes?”
Before the universe could implode upon itself, I said the secret reform safe-word and the crisis was averted.