Twitter has made the 24-hour news cycle into a 2-hour news cycle

From the always insightful Mathew Ingram.


The fact that political campaigns use social media to try and influence public opinion isn’t new: the “spin cycle” is no longer something that involves private calls to a few grizzled newspaper columnists or TV commentators — instead, there are teams of social-networking staffers working the spin on every conceivable platform. But we rarely get a glimpse inside these “war rooms” until long after the campaign is over.

In a recent research paper, journalism professor Daniel Kreiss got a look at some of the social machinery (PDF link) behind the 2012 campaigns of presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, based on interviews with senior staffers and insiders of both.

One thing that dramatically changed from the previous presidential election in 2008, Kreiss notes, was the influence of Twitter — which existed in 2008, but wasn’t really thought of as being an important tool for shaping public opinion. The Obama…

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