What you missed during the debate... if you weren't on Twitter

October 8, 2008

If you're not on Twitter yet (and not following us, tsk, tsk) election season is the time to join! Following last night's presidential debate on Twitter added to the coverage and helped create some worthwhile distractions if the candidates' exchanges got a little lengthy and off topic. The NPR Digital Media team joined forces with plodt to evaluate the value of tweets. It's like this: users following the debate on twitter can post their thoughts on a candidates' remarks and then place #dialtest next to the tweet. Then, when a user searches #dialtest on Twitter she can see how other tweeters are rating the responses. It's like a barometer for rating the candidates. Another great feature was #factcheck. Placing this next to a tweet, like McCain's remark about Obama's excessive spending for an overhead projector at Chicago's Adler Planetarium, or Obama claiming that we're spending $10 million a day in Iraq, calls for a little truth to the claim. NPR reporters and other tweeters jumped in and offered some clarity on some of these statements, with links to blogs, the candidates' web sites, and more. All of these features offer some context on the debates, and even the election, as you're allowed to hear from other voters, not just pundits and journalists. Join in before the next debate!