The Cycle | October 16, 2012
>>> just like bacon makes any dish taste better, twitter makes the debates better. the sarcastic commentary, the historical perspective, the creative hash tag and the grenade throwers. in 140 characters or less you have a shot to change the world a little. i love twitter, and inlt alone. the first presidential debate was the most tweeted event in u.s. political history with 10.3 million tweets in.9 3.5 million tweets with the vice presidential showdown. 5,000 tweets per minute when biden said now you're jack kennedy . it shows how much twitter makes tv watching sbun a communal event. a national real time conversation. you hear the thoughts of thousands or millions of friends, and that has a huge impact on the national conversation about the debates. what will we be talk about tonight? we have a twitter top dog, head of government , news and social noen vags for twitter. adam, how are you?
>> toure , doing well. a little chilly here in the autumn sun, but having fun so far.
>> just tweet about it, and you'll feel better. how does twitter change the discourse, and now let everybody say what they want to say whenever they want to say it?
>> i think you touched on it a little bit in the intro there. it's brought us back it to a more traditional form of politics, that idea of gathering around the tv on the world's biggest couch to share in these events and having that one on one contact with candidates we seem to lose over the years. by looking at numbers, you can realize the magnitude of the conversation that is playing out around the country, around the world as we watch these debates together.
>> you know, one of the things that's great about twitter is that i'm forced to talk it to non-like minds, and i think a lot of people have that experience. this is where they encountered conservatives or people from the left they don't usually meet or talk to in their real life . we get the sort tribalism that people are clearly from alternate realities and talk past each other. there's no persuasion or a politeness in the discourse. it's just, you know, you're an idiot. no, you're an idiot. how do we deal with that as part of the way it shapes everything?
>> well, i think the challenge, toure , is when you put 140 million people in one room together, you're going to get an incredible assortment of thoughts and conversation that when you just parcel out a couple of select people to appear on tv on or on talk radio you don't get. i think the key is that you have the ease of that follow button. that you follow those that you think contribute to the conversation and you don't follow those that don't. we've built a page, twitter twitter.com/ttwitter.com/ twitter.com/ debates. we want to find impactful voices, the insiders on the ground to give you more perspective than the single camera on all the networks.
>> i'm sure we'll be -- us members of "the cycle" will be prominently featured there. twitter seems to help crystallize the conversation, with a c and not a k. you're no longer watch the debate in isolation forming your own opinions over a length of time. now you're on twitter seeing what everyone is thinking, the narrative takes shape quickly. members of the media are also watching that conversation, so when the debate is over and the pundits come out, they sort of know what the american public thought about the debate. everybody is on the same page right away. is that a good thing that that narrative hardens so quickly with twitter?
>> well, it's a good thing that we're hearing the voice directly of the audience. think about the role the pundits play in these events. for all these years it's turning to the pundits to make their best guest what the audience thinks. now we can measure conversations that a cycle ago would have been trapped behind the walls of the coffee shop or water cooler. being able to actually hear what the electorate is saying as opposed to the view of a single pundit or a group of people turning dials in ail hotel ballroom somewhere can be very telling. what's interesting and toure talked a moment ago that you get more talk. we saw massive amount of conversation on both sides. the peaks haven't been the big bird type moments but actually more substantive issue areas.
>> what's interesting is we talk about how television ratings are going down for sitcoms, for dram dramas and other things. it isn't going down for major event television, the super bowl and oscars. with the presidential debates we had the audiences way up this year. twitter is a huge part of it. you have to be there live and want to be part of the retime conversation. we joked about my embarrassing reply small by comparison twitter following. i can tweet a ba neenign thing and it's picked up. is there a risk we're elevating, for instance, now that we have this in politics with a debate like tonight, is it too much of an event? there's too much at stake in one 90-minute event compared to the rest of the campaign just because everyone wants to watch it and thinks it's the most important thing ever?
>> i think right off the bad you're absolutely right. whether it's in sports, entertainment, reality shows , politics, twitter is increasingly becoming where we come together as a community to get closer to these big events in our lives. i do think this is still important, though. this is one of the few times you have both candidates on stage together facing off with each other, having to answer the same questions back to back and letting the audience not only follow along on twitter, but essentially ask questions. both campaigns are engaging with followers during the debates. fact checkers are chiming in, so you get a more complete pictures of the debates than ever before. the bigger that community sharing the speexperience is, it helps form a complete understanding of the issues at the end of the debate.
>> adam sharp, thank you very much. you'll make us all featured tweeters, right?
>> you're already featured tweeters on my list.
>> that's not quite the answer i was looking for. i love you anyway. before we go, i love it when krystal says crystallized. i love it when steve is on the front page . the hometown boy does well, and he's named all the teachers who inspired him to get into politics in the headline. can we see that? it's a really good thing. can you find it online?
>> you can't. that's the future of local small town papers. they don't need to be online and have advertising. my professional start, cross-country reports from a high school team about 20 years ago now. it's great to be back.
>> we are in kornacki land. up next one magazine gives the presidential candidates a science tests. who makes the grade on climate change , vaccines, stem cells and evolution? we'll tell