Why is it some of the biggest news stories of this century have been broken and told via social media sites, but CNN still can’t handle a simple debate using it?
Maybe it is because they are too stodgy. Maybe it is because they are too stuck in the old ways of doing things. Maybe it is because they just don’t get it.
Whatever it is, it is working against them.
As an example I point to the GOP debate last night. The only thing CNN did right was to offer the Twitter hastag before the event began. Then it was easy enough for us all to watch them crash and burn as they asked the candidates pointless and stupid questions and basically ignore everything that was being said via the social media they acted like they were embracing.
Look, folks. If you really want to use social media, the use it. Don’t just carry a sign saying “we love social media.” People who really DO use and love social media will call you out on it and make you look foolish. Like they did to CNN all last night on Twitter.
Did you catch last night’s GOP debate on CNN? The cable network tried, once again, to incorporate social media into its coverage.
However, much like the “This or That?” series of questions (possibly the worst debate idea ever), it didn’t work.
CNN promised a bunch of bells and whistles, but what happened was the occasional mention of a Facebook post going to break or a few Twitter comments here and there. The network also had streams on screens in the theater showing all the posts people made. Anderson Cooper also tweeted backstage pictures and details.
I don’t know. That’s so…2010, isn’t it?
I will say one thing. The #CNNdebate hashtag was a success. It’s nice to see a network set the hashtag beforehand so people don’t have to wonder (or come up with their own). CNN kept the hashtag up at the bottom of the TV screen last night, and the flow of tweets nearly blew up my TweetDeck.
According to Trendistic, 1.5% of all tweets 90 minutes in used the #CNNdebate hashtag. That’s an incredibly high number.
Many of us remember the debacle that was the YouTube debate a couple of years ago, where questions came from YouTube users. Let’s not do that again. And Piers Morgan’s much-ballyhooed Twitter episode a few months ago was a dud. But there has to be some killer way to use social media to ask questions people actually want to know (and not what type of Buffalo wings Mitt Romney prefers or whether Ron Paul uses a BlackBerry or iPhone. Those were real questions last night, by the way).
So what will it take to truly integrate social media into something like a presidential debate? Maybe it’s time for a candidate to bypass traditional media and hold his or her own Q&A with voters on Twitter. After all, isn’t that the point of a social network?
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