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Like 165,413 (and counting!) people, I follow Barack Obama on Twitter.

I'm jealous of him, Twitter-wise. He's the most popular Twitterer in the World.

I'm also mad at him, Twitter-wise, since his account hasn't been updated since November 5th. It's time for that to change.

Like 165,413 (and counting!) people, I follow Barack Obama on Twitter.

I'm jealous of him, Twitter-wise. He's the most popular Twitterer in the World.

I'm also mad at him, Twitter-wise, since his account hasn't been updated since November 5th. It's time for that to change.

Here's where I think that Barack and co. have gone wrong with Twitter:

PROBLEM #1: The account is not updating it at all

Cardinal sin -- if you have an account, you have to update it. Especially the way that it went down, that the account basically ceased to be updated the day after he was elected. A more cynical person might say, "Hey, you let us help you get there, and then you forgot about us."

SOLUTION: Start updating it again

At the very least, set it up to publish whatever news feed is coming out of his office or his website right now. But they can also restart posting some of his events, appearances, or announcements. They can even simply copy their (seemingly daily) donation pleas to the Twitter account.

PROBLEM #2: The tweets are basically pointless

During the campaign, the tweets were basically pointless. They were simply reminders of where Obama was going to speak, which events he was at, etc. If you look back through them, you're going to find a lot of place names and event names, and that's pretty much it.

SOLUTION: Why not let Twitter represent everything that Obama has going on?

Barack Obama's Twitter account should be a combination of three things -- updates on his endeavors; links to things that are important to him and his office; and pleas for money/action. I know that I, for one, would love to read some of the same things that Obama (or his people) are reading. If there are documents being produced by his office, they can release them to the public. I'd be willing to put up with a lot of event updates and pleas for money if following his Twitter account allowed us to really get to know the man at the same time. Further, they could really use the Twitter account to push forward interesting ideas. Of the 160,000 people who follow Obama, you'll probably find some of the most well-read and influential people on the American Internet scene. If these people embrace something that is put forth by Obama's office, it can circumnavigate the entire world in about a day.

PROBLEM #3: There is some serious wasted potential

Obama will reach 200,000 followers before long; probably within a month. It's not unreasonable to think that he'll be the first to reach one million followers. He's also the first President ever to truly embrace technology as a means for communication with people. And Twitter is only growing.

SOLUTION: Tap into it

Twitter can, for the Obama presidency, be a wonderful mechanism to carry forth the spirit of the campaign into the Oval Office. One of the great things about Barack Obama, and one of the reasons that everyone seemed to love him, was that he turned his back on the rigidity of the "way things have always been done" and crafted a new course. Why not do the same with social networking?

President Obama's office can, quite easily, create a dignified, useful Twitter experience for all of the people around the world who use the service and follow him. He can use the technology to help shape and distribute his message, help candidates (including himself), and increase the opportunities for citizen engagement in the civic process.

And, I think, it can be done 140 characters at a time.

Originally posted to tomalexander19 on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 07:40 AM PST.

Poll

Do you agree that Obama's Twitter account can be reshaped to add value to his presidency?

23%13 votes
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5%3 votes
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| 56 votes | Vote | Results

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