"Bloggers are 'cracking, popping, drilling and peeling their victims open,'" we wrote five years back, applying blind paleontologist Geerat Vermeij's "Everyone is mostly affected by their enemies" theory to explain what went wrong with the Democrats. After the passage of another -- accelerated -- entrenched-insurgent-entrenched cycle, the bloggers are still at it, but the Twitterers are rallying the troops. Above, Tiny glares out the kitchen window at the black-and-white intruder with revolutionary thoughts of cracking, popping and peeling him open.
"The grassroots support he has received via these networks is indicative of the growing importance of social media as a campaign tool," according to an Emerging Media Research Council report cited by the Master of Glenn Reynolds's Disintermediating-Via-the-Internet Universe, Prof. William Jacobson of Legal Insurrection, who reads the entrails of the Send-Mr-Brown-to-Washington whirlwind [Who knew whirlwinds had entrails?] that swept us up of late and plunked us down at the end of the Yellow Brick Road, eyes blinking. Here, in full, "The First American Twitter Revolution":
The mainstream media finally is waking up to the under-the-radar social media revolution which hid in plain sight in the Massachusetts Senate special election. As reported by the Wall Street Journal:
A study conducted by the Emerging Media Research Council out today found that Brown had a more effective strategy of using social networking tools including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to promote his campaign and connect with supporters ...
The study concludes that Brown’s use of social media helped in several ways, including boosting his name recognition both in and out of Massachusetts.
Social media has been important before, particularly in Obama's campaign, but the role of Twitter in this election was unique.
While Facebook and blogs were important to fundraising and messaging, Twitter is what allowed pro-Brown activists to stay in contact with each other, to feed each other news links, and generally to keep up each other's spirits at a time when the radar was showing that Brown had no chance.
I don't think it is an exaggeration to say that this was the first American Twitter revolution.
More food for thought from Dan Riehl:
William Jacobson believes the Massachusetts revolution was Tweeted, along with its reliance upon other social media applications like blogging, of course. I agree. But why now? ...
Perhaps social media is more for insurgencies, than an entrenched party. That would jibe with the sense of playing defense many of us felt during the Bush years. One is less likely to be engaged in reaching out pro-actively, if they're constantly dealing with incoming from the other side ...
And Twitter just happened along at the right time for the Right to take the lead.
Insurgent, entrenched, insurgent. It's the American way -- not to mention nature's and human nature's way -- and overall keeps the ship of state on an even keel.
Update: "Read this awesome post on using social media," says Cynthia Yockey of A Newly Conservative Lesbian. Thanks for the link!