Thursday, February 26, 2009

Double live twittering during Obama's speech. Not if your Hoekstra

Did you watch President Obama's speech to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night?
Did you livetweet the event, wowing your friends/followers with your insight and wit?
Were you there?

If you answered yes to all three of these questions, you are probably a member of Congress armed with a Blackberry or cell phone are connected? Maybe you're Rep. Pete Hoekstra?

Once Obama started speaking, thousands of people and several members of Congress whipped out their phones and began tweeting the event, called a "live tweet". But Congress one-up you, Mr. I-think-I'm-funny-when-I-tweet-from-my-LG-Dare, they were there, making a double-live tweet. BOOM!

Here's how one blogger, Dana Milbank with the Washington Post, described the event.
President Obama spoke of economic calamity and war last night in that solemn rite of democracy, the address to the joint session of Congress. And lawmakers watched him with the dignity Americans have come to expect of their leaders: They whipped out their BlackBerrys and began sending text messages like high school kids bored in math class.
Read the entire post here. It includes actual tweets from actual members of Congress during the actual speech. Actually.

Dana Bash, the best-named political reporter on the best political team (mine and CNN's opinions combined) also made quite a deal out of Congress members on twitter during the speech. When CNN cut to Bash right after the speech, her first comments were not about the economy, the wars or even Obama's call for national service. It was about twitter. FTW!

West Michigan has it's own twitter-superstar member of Congress, Rep. Pete Hoekstra from Holland. The helmet-wearing, bike-riding Hoekstra is the sixth most followed member in Congress with 4,288 followers (I'm one of them), but he is probably the most famous after he put the Pentagon into a tissy when he tweeted from Iraq. Hoekstra didn't back down about his use of twitter in Iraq and caused the military to rethink its security guidelines.

I was a little disappointed at Hoekstra's lack of tweets during the speech. With my iPhone in hand and Twitterrific fired up, I was hoping for the inside scoop. (To be honest, I didn't watch the speech live. I watched it at 1 a.m. when I got home from work and sat down to dinner. Making my live-tweets tape-delayed-tweets.)

Hoekstra only pecked out one 140-character-or-less message the whole night:

Clearly, Hoekstra was not one of the high schooler turned member of Congress who thumbed their trackball throughout the speech. (I bet they were checking e-mail, sport scores and reading Blog Mule during the speech.) Shortly after the speech, Hoekstra comes through with his take:

I'm staying tuned Pete.

Is Hoekstra still adjusting to the 140-character way of life? Or is he smarter than that, saving his comments for the real world where they really matter? Maybe he was just worried about spelling a Supreme Court Justice's name wrong?

Join twitter. Follow me @tinynotebook. Follow Rep. Pete Hoekstra @petehoekstra


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