Although it’s difficult to imagine any contemporary political leader communicating in fewer than 140 characters, the men and women vying for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination will have to do exactly that on July 20th.
Next month, a major Republican US presidential debate will take place via the microblogging juggernaut.
In addition to eager spectators being allowed to follow the debate on their preferred mobile and desktop Twitter clients, a tailored site with a debate platform will launch ahead of the event. The site in question will display all the coalesced tweets by the candidates, moderators, and others tweeting questions to the candidates.
Various media outlets have noted that the event is being organized by Andrew Hemingway, chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire. But the official “host” of the Twitter debate is www.TheTeaParty.net. National conservative talk show host Rusty Humphries will serve as the moderator.
The debate platform was designed by Adam Green, founder and CEO of consulting outfit 140 Dev, LLC. On the day of the debate, interested onlookers and participants are encouraged to plug into the debate platform which will be accessible by then at 140TownHall.com.
“We basically have an online tool that tracks all tweets for a specific account name and hashtag,” Green acknowledged. “It takes all those tweets, aggregates them into a database, separates the ones who are the lead speakers and puts them in one stream, and then puts the others in a separate stream.”
Green says a special “back-end” platform is being created to help candidates practice ahead of the debate. In other words, the candidates – and not their campaign staff – will be doing the tweeting.
“We realize that debating on Twitter is something that no candidate, no politician has ever done,” Green says. “It seems they’d want to practice that.”