Twitter's Invisible Dominance at the Convention
Facebook mashed its footprint on the convention floor by setting up photo booth kiosks around the Tampa Bay Times Forum, and Google(GOOG) has pasted its presence on the massive convention screens between Republican speeches.
Twitter has its logo printed on an eight-and-a-half- by 11-inch sheet of computer paper that directs passersby to its post, and broadcasts a marquee of tweets (interspersed with Google+ comments) that occasionally scroll around the convention floor.
In addition to the RNC event page, Twitter has tracked user sentiment toward Romney and Barack Obama, and other notable politicians.
The "Twindex" as Horwitz referred to it, rates individuals on a scale of 1 to 100, with 50 being neutral.
At this moment, Bridget Coyne, a member of Twitter's government, news and social innovation team, jumps into the conversation and begins to rattle off a number of statistical morsels.
Ann Romney vaulted her Twitter sentiment to 83, up from a previous 45, after her crowd-pleasing speech.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Tuesday's key-note speaker, jumped to 57, up from 46.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum's rating moved sideways at 51.
Romney bumped up a couple points to 42, while Obama rose just one point to 29. A large part of the sentiment is based on how much these figures are part of the "conversation," said Coyne. In other words, next week during the DNC, Obama could have a much higher Twindex rating than Romney simply because the focus will be on the president's nomination.
The micro-blogging company doesn't have an imposing physical presence in Tampa, but Horwitz's first point may best frame its reach on this convention: Users sent 1.8 million tweets about Election Day in 2008 -- today, that's the average quota in six minutes. Even Romney's body man is tweeting during big speeches.
The tapping back here doesn't sound like much, but no one in Twitter's corner seems concerned.
-- Written by Joe Deaux in Tampa, Fla.
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