I choose to avoid political topics on this blog because I have defined it as a neutral space. So this is not a post about politics as much as it is about social media and smart choices.
I am talking about Congressman Anthony Weiner. My reactions probably paralleled yours: What was he thinking? He seems like a bright man. Oh no, not another lying idiot! After having run that gamut, I got to thinking about what this will mean for politicians and the use of social media, especially Twitter. I wonder how many fingers this will freeze!
The immediacy of Twitter has been very effective for many celebrities to connect with their fans and followers. It is probably fitting that Weiner was an effective tweeter and seen as a role model of sorts in effectively harnessing this platform. Not as well harnessed as he thought, apparently! There is an interesting blog in Huffington Post about the technical mistake that made Weinergate happen. But the reality is that, in the case of Anthony Weiner, the error was not of execution but of judgement.
This should not turn-off businesses or individuals who want to explore the potential of Twitter. Whether you are a small business connecting with your clients or a politician engaging with your constituents, the directness and immediacy of a tweet is still an incredible marketing medium. It humanizes stars and personalizes corporations and invites conversations and links. BUT, wield it with sense and restraint. And remember what we tell the kids, there is no such thing as privacy in social networking.
PSA – Think before you tweet!