On "Karl Rove is Following Me"

The multi-talented journalist and blogger Rachel Sklar recently asked me what I thought about Karl Rove's recent appearance on Twitter for her "Karl Rove is Following Me" post on Daily Beast. While at first blush, the topic may seem trivial, it does raise some interesting questions. Below are Rachel's original questions and my comments on each...read her entire post here:

(1) Have you seen his twitter? He follows everyone back, @replies all the time, uses exclamation marks....he GETS it. Do you agree? What did you think when you first saw Karl Rove on twitter?

His enthusiasm for Twittering and participation are evident--whether that lasts beyond the initial 3-6 week Twitter addiction period is yet to be seen....that said, my first gut reaction was "holy crap....transparency, change....oh, brave new world!" This was quickly followed by anxiety about what this means for the future of Internet regulation....and finally, WTF?

(2) Do you think twitter can help Karl Rove improve his tarnished brand? Do you think he can bring in the twitterati, and emerge as Karl Rove 2.0?

Well, that's an interesting question. In many ways, we see just how compelling that old McLuhanite adage "the medium is the message" really is....it does seem as if that just by virtue of being on Twitter it says something positive about you-- like hey, maybe he's more honest, accessible, grounded than we thought? He Twitters! And Twitter = openness, dialogue, transparency, immediacy, etc--RIGHT??. Can he improve his tarnished image? No doubt his Twittering gives some cause for an opinion double-take...However, IMAGE is the operative word here. Can you really improve your image via social media if the actual product sucks? Not really, you've actually got to improve the product (social media amplifies, and the balance between image and actuality grows precarious)

(3) What does Karl Rove have to gain from twitter?

What does Karl Rove gain from Twitter? Well, no doubt he gains a few nods from the media and, there perhaps will be some modicum of improvement in his public image. It certainly raises his profile and pique's the interest of many who may otherwise have long forgotten him in the dark annals of the recent past as we wave the Bush Era a long and gratifying GOODBYE! Also, he may just really like Twittering and seeing his Twick size grow?

1 comment:

Erin Lamberty said...

Take off the TC hat, Mr. Rove. MPLS doesn't want you wearing it. Just like with Twitter, it won't help you improve your brand.