If you spend even a fraction of your life in the Sactosphere, it’s hard not to notice how quickly the microblogging service Twitter has caught on among politicians.
A list kept by Shane Goldmacher of the LA Times tracks at least 46 lawmakers who have joined the Twitter frenzy. They tout their good works, praise their supporters and toss barbs at their opponents – that is, when they’re not showing us pictures of their delicious breakfast.
Trivial? Sometimes. But the tweets also reveal insights into the messages politicians are sending to their supporters – intentional or not. A study last fall by researchers at the University of Maryland showed that 80 percent of tweets by members of Congress were geared toward self-promotion.
And which California politicians right now need to promote themselves more than the state's gubernatorial candidates?
Just for kicks, we used Twitter’s API to download the last couple hundred tweets from Jerry Brown, Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner’s primary Twitter accounts (@JerryBrown2010, @Whitman2010 and @StevePoizner), trying to get a sense of the messages they have been sending to their digerati followers.
For example, Poizner frequenty invokes the Top Conservatives on Twitter (aka TCOT) group, which styles itself a strong supporter of the Tea Party movement, according to this Wordle we created to display the most frequently used words in his tweeting history.
Jerry Brown has tweeted about busting scams and protecting consumers as Attorney General, but he has mentioned his home base, Oakland, more than anything else. That vertical bit.ly link you see there on the right leads to his campaign donation page.
And apparently “Good Meg”, not “Evil Meg” is running Meg Whitman’s Twitter operation. Her Wordle is dominated by words like “thanks”, “great” and “support.” She also mentions "Women" frequently, which stands to reason being that she's the only female candidate in the race.