I’ve said this so often I feel like a broken record, but here goes: there is a big difference between electioneering and governing. Those differences extend to constituent communication, in no small part because of the prohibition against using government (public) resources to get elected (or re-elected).
How else to explain the fact that the Barack Obama campaign (notice I did not say “Barack Obama” — I don’t want to perpetuate the idea that he was personally engaged in these spaces) has posted nothing on its Twitter account or its Facebook account since 5 November 2008, the day after the election?
Instead, the electioneering team (the campaign) has morphed into the about-to-be-governing team. They have an outward-focus on Change.gov, but that’s a very controlled space, not unlike My.BarackObama.com.
Another reason for abandoning these social spaces: they’re great for mobilizing but not so great for deliberation.
The campaign used Twitter as a one-way blast medium, anyway. The BarackObama Twitter account is following 151,346 other accounts! That’s mass media, not personal media, no matter what the message “feels” like when it arrives on your phone, in Tweetdeck, via your RSS reader or on the web.
How do you think these tools will evolve or play out in future elections? Or in governance?