Twitter vs. Blogs…Is There Even a Battle?
Vincent Harris | September 6, 2011
This morning AdWeek released a piece with Ben Smith from Politico which discusses the dissemination of news content and the power of Twitter as tool to push out information.
I agree with Ben that Twitter is an incredibly powerful tool but I have some issue with the author (Dylan Byers) view of Twitter vs. Blogging.
It is mentioned in the article that Ben has more than 50,000 followers on Twitter which is compared to daily website traffic to his blog of 40,000 visits on a slow day. Comparing these two numbers really is apples and oranges. Many of the short tweets sent out on Twitter fly by users “All Friends” feeds and are never seen. Followers would need to be online at the moment a tweet was released, get tweets from Ben to their phone, or have a feed encompassing Ben’s tweets to view whenever they logged onto Twitter. Visitors coming to the website come from a variety of inbound links or visit organically. Either way, these are actual eyeballs on his content.
Twitter remains the tool of the hyper-engaged. In politics this would be “political elites” defined as activists, consultants, staff, candidates, and press. The average Republican voter is not on Twitter.
Candidates at all levels of elected office often ask whether it’s worth them spending time on Twitter. Will they win over voters? Will they be able to raise money?
The answer to both questions is yes…but on a much smaller scale then door knocking or e-mail fundraising appeals would respectively.
Conor Rogers from the Politicizer has a good piece written a couple of weeks ago on this topic where he says:
More Americans live in Texas than use Twitter – and as big as Texas is, there’s more people in Rhode Island than there are active Twitter users.
With a sizeable amount of website traffic continuing to come from searches on Google/Bing/Yahoo etc. , search engines continue to play a major role in sending people to websites. Yes, tweets are searchable but the major search engine’s predisposition is to link to websites/blogs instead of singular tweets.
There can be little doubt that Twitter is an important tool in politics. The platform has been used to break major news stories, assist in revolutions, and served as a platform for politicians such as Governor Sarah Palin to push message out. But blogs & websites are far from dead to the mainstream voter that determines actual electoral outcomes.