Republican online guru Patrick Ruffini makes an apt analogy on TechPresident about Twitter. A decade ago, the Internet was the revolutionary media frontier compared to TV; today Twitter is a new niche frontier on an increasingly mainstream world wide web.
Of note, Ruffini points out that Republicans are ahead of Democrats in terms of using this software; projects like the #dontgo movement have shown the utility of this rapidly growing communications vehicle.
The more I thought about it, the less surprised I was – recall that it was conservative bloggers who, in 2004, made the first big splash with blogs by exposing shoddy CBS News reporting that ultimately cost Dan Rather his job. At the time, blogs were relative newcomers to the political scene, and members of the more traditional media establishment complained that bloggers weren’t “real” journalists and couldn’t be trusted for news.
The internet and blogs have become more mainstream, Team Obama was able to harness online enthusiasm and the narrative has developed that conservatives are a step behind. One could just as easily point to the use of technology like Twitter to suggest conservatives are ahead of the curve – but using technology that mainstream media outlets haven’t quite wrapped their head around yet.