Last week the Politico released a controversial list of the most influential Twitter users in the Washington, DC area.  The article spread around the Internet, as is typical of these types of articles, with the the LA Times and David Almacy responding with their own lists.  All three lists are interesting, and sort of equally good/bad in their own way.

The only thing that really sparked a strong reaction in me was the inclusion of Barack Obama’s Twitter account as #4 in the original Politico list.  Obama was almost certainly included due to the fact that he is followed by over 345,000 Twitter users, making him the most popular Twitterer in the world.  I question Obama’s inclusion for two primary reasons:

  1. His team hasn’t posted an update since the inaugaration a month and a half ago.
  2. Even when they were posting, his Twitter account was pretty boring, consisting almost solely of updates from staff on his schedule and new features on his website.  There are a few tweets that purport to be from Obama himself and are written in the first person.  However, these first person tweets seem designed to be devoid of personality.

If you review his account, it is pretty clear that Team Obama is using Twitter almost solely to drive traffic to their website.

I find this interesting.  Others, from Downing Street to Claire McCaskill to John Culberson to Shaquille O’Neil have shown how Twitter can be used by government, politicians and famous celebrities to achieve a variety of goals (transparency, building connections, etc.).

Team Obama ran what was undoubtedly the best web campaign in the history of the world.  I am positive that people within the campaign understand Twitter, and that they could use the platform in groundbreaking ways if they wanted to.

I think it is pretty clear that they are basically opting out of Twitter.

My question is pretty simple: why?

About the Author
Todd Zeigler
Todd Zeigler serves as the Brick Factory’s chief strategist and oversees the operations of the firm. In his sixteen year career in digital, he has planned and implemented campaigns for clients including the Pickens Plan, International Youth Foundation, Panthera, Edison Electric Institute, and the American Chemistry Council. Todd develops ambitious online advocacy programs, manages crises, implements online marketing strategies, and develops custom applications and software. He is bad at golf though.