For the first few months, maybe even a year, that I was on Twitter, I got mocked. Paddy mocked me. My family mocked me. My cats mocked me. (Okay, that was a stretch, but they do mock me on a daily basis.)
"Who wants to read about someone doing their stupid laundry?" I was asked. "Why should I sign up just to read what bored people had for lunch?" they demanded. "How can anyone express themselves in 140 characters or less?" many scoffed.
Well we sure showed you, now didn't we? Ha!
Seriously, because of Twitter, I've had the honor of meeting some of my favorite political notables and TV hosts, of becoming a regular on two radio shows and a contributor on many others, made friends with people in "real life" who I'd have never been able to meet otherwise, learned a lot from brilliant professionals and non-pros alike, been the grateful recipient of compassion and emergency aid when I've needed it most, stayed in touch with my sons when they were on school lockdown/reeling from being in close proximity to the Boston Marathon bombings, gotten wind of breaking news nearly instantaneously, you name it.
As for those skeptics who ridiculed Twitter-- and me-- most of them now have active accounts. So there.
And if all that weren't enough, per the National Journal, there's a new study that claims that Twitter could very well predict elections:
Who needs polls? A study published Monday reports that campaigns could use Twitter to successfully predict the winner of most races, findings that might bolster the social media service's already robust political presence.
The key measure, researchers from Indiana University found, was a candidate's "tweet share," the percentage of total tweets about a race that mention them. The more often a candidate is mentioned on Twitter relative to their opponent, the study reported, the greater their chance for victory.
The findings were comprehensive: An analysis of tweets from the 2010 midterm elections found the data correctly predicted the winner in 404 of the 406 House races.
That's some track record! And check this out: It doesn't matter whether tweets favor someone or are critical of them. "When it comes to Twitter and politicians, apparently all publicity really is good publicity."
Polls aren't going anywhere, but now candidates and others have one more tool with which to
manipulate us measure their popularity and impact.
And the best part is, if we don't like them, we can always block.