I had just finished speaking at the annual dinner of the Arizona Policy Council when Jeremy approached me with an appeal that I "Twitter more."
For the way behind, Twitter.com is a rapidly expanding tech tool for social networking that limits messages to 140 characters. A beginners' guide is available from David All. (And a conversation with David All, Rob Neppell and Patrick Ruffini on the tech gap between the GOP and the Dems is here.)
Like my Townhall.com colleague Matt Lewis, I am a "late adapter" to Twitter, which means a few million people started using it first, but no matter. What matters, especially in politics, is recognizing the truth in the cliche "Better late than never." When it comes to politics and communication, you don't stay off the second bus because you missed the first one, especially if they all arrive in 2010 at the same time.
A couple days back I asked people following me at Twitter, where I maintain two accounts under hughhewitt and hhradio, who they were and why they wanted to receive my "tweets." The responses underscore the incredible variety of people and motives that have fueled Twitter's explosive growth.
Many are simply looking for show updates --which guests are coming on, which allows for appointment listening or easy selection among podcasts.
Many others want a different sort of communication, though, one that moves outside of the content of the radio program into ideas and experiences that don't make it onto air. Others are using the feeds to advance the online activism they find crucial to the future. Blogger DenverInTranslation.com bemoans that the GOP "is simply not connected."
"I have an iPhone, 2 MacBook Pros, a blog, a Twitter, a Facebook, five active e-mail accounts and an unhealthy addiction to Google Reader," he explained. I know a lot of young connected Republicans who are just like me."
But, he added, "the Republican party made it quite clear (whether intentional or not) that they rellly don't care about our demographic. The Obama camp released a free iPhone app to energize and get out his vote. When I didn't see one from the McCain campaign within a week, I knew it was over."