September 22nd, 2009
11:24 AM ET
9 years ago

Online, campaigns take advantage of 'You lie!' storm

Joe Wilson and his online team turned what could have been a PR disaster, in to an online success story.

Joe Wilson and his online team turned what could have been a PR disaster, in to an online success story.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - When Rep. Joe Wilson yelled "You lie!" at President Obama, the South Carolina Republican's political team quickly launched an online strategy to capitalize on the incident.

Wilson's heated outburst came on the House floor as Obama addressed a joint session of Congress about health care.

Within 12 hours, Wilson media consultant Brian Donahue had sketched out a plan that included buying ads on Google, cutting videos on YouTube and using Twitter and Facebook to raise money and counter the congressman's critics.

"We knew that influencers and news outlets would want to find out more information about what happened and what Joe Wilson's response was, and they would be looking for this information online," Donahue told CNN. "The events were happening by the minute and by the hour. Online was where we needed to be to respond and provide new information from Congressman Wilson. Traditional print media couldn't keep up with the pace of this issue."

Full Story

Follow Eric Kuhn on Twitter @KuhnCNN

Filed under: Facebook • Joe Wilson • President Obama • Social Networking • Twitter • YouTube
September 11th, 2009
04:20 PM ET
9 years ago

ActBlue raises over $750,000 for Joe Wilson's opponent

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Online fundraising site ActBlue announced Friday that since Republican congressman Joe Wilson's outburst during President Obama's address, his Democratic opponent Rob Miller has raised over $787,951 (and rising) on the site.  The first donation came in at 9:15 p.m. ET on September 9.

ActBlue Deputy Communications Director Adrian Arroyo told CNN that the donations have come in from over 21,622 people since Wednesday night's speech, a major jump from the 5,000 who had contributed as of yesterday.  Arroyo admits that since the fundraising push is viral, "there is no one place to locate what is going on.  You have DailyKos, Twitter and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee circling these issues. There is no one prime mover."  The mean contribution size is $36.

Two links leading back to ActBlue's donation pages have been clicked on over 9,500 times, said the group. Two days after the speech, Joe Wilson is still the top trending topic on Twitter - and ActBlue has benefited greatly, with more than 1,000 tweets about their fundraising efforts for the congressman's opponent.

Filed under: Joe Wilson • Rob Miller • Social Networking • Twitter
September 10th, 2009
11:25 AM ET
9 years ago

ActBlue: Over 3,000 clicks for Rob Miller = $100,000 in donations

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Two links (Miller's ActBlue listing and fundraising page) allowing people to donate to Rep. Congressman Joe Wilson's opponent Rob Miller went viral last night on e-mail, Twitter and Facebook, raising approximately $100,000, according to the liberal group pushing for the contributions.

The links came from online fundraising site ActBlue, and the first donation via the links came in at 9:30 p.m. ET last night. ActBlue's two links were clicked on over 3,000 times. The overwhelming majority of those clicks came in from people e-mailing the links, followed by a people sharing the link on Twitter. A smaller number of donors put the link on Facebook.

ActBlue Deputy Communications Director Adrian Arroyo told CNN that the donations have come in from over 5,000 individuals.

Filed under: Facebook • Health care • Joe Wilson • Rob Miller • Social Media • Social Networking • Twitter • Uncategorized
September 9th, 2009
09:53 PM ET
9 years ago

CNN tweets Obama speech

As President Obama addresses a joint session of Congress, CNN's team will be Tweeting live.

As President Obama addresses a joint session of Congress, CNN's team will be Tweeting live.

The Best Political Team will deliver real time analysis, color and observations of President Obama’s address tonight on health care.

CNN correspondents, analysts and producers will be providing instant reports in bite-size “tweets” of Obama’s speech, the Republican response being delivered by Rep. Charles Boustany, and the analysis and color that surrounds these nationally televised events.

Tune in at 7:30 p.m. ET and keep refreshing the Ticker for the very latest on this critical night in the health care debate.

Done for tonight. For individual analysis follow @EdHenryCNN, @CrowleyCNN, @SamFeistCNN, @PrestonCNN, @sinderbrandrCNN, @hambypCNN, @KuhnCNN
CNN Poll on Obama plan: pre-speech 53% favor/36 speech 67 favor/29 oppose.
CNN Poll: 72% of speech watchers said Obama "Clearly stated his health care goals"
Poll results coming in now. Stand by.
RT @PrestonCNN: I'm unable to access Rep. Wilson's House Web site. But here is his bio:
RT @KuhnCNN: Joe Wilson is now the top trending topic on Twitter. (from CNN's Jeff Simon)
RT @PrestonCNN: Tonight was supposed to be about President Obama, but Joe Wilson and Ted Kennedy stole the show.
RT @PoliticalTicker: "CNN confirms: Rep. Wilson the congressional heckler" –
RT @PoliticalTicker: "Picture of the night: Joe Wilson's outburst -
GOP Rep. Dave Camp on lie outburst: "I don't advise that, I think it's important to listen as respectfully as possible."
Sen. John McCain told Larry King that Wilson's shout "totally disrespectful. He should apologize immediately."
RT @PrestonCNN: Rep. Camp, senior Republican on Ways & Means, tells CNN that Obama's speech was "well delivered" but "overtly political."
GOP Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina shouted “You lie!” at President Obama, CNN confirms.
RT @hambypCNN: DNC chair Tim Kaine: Obama gave "a stirring and passionate address" ... "We hope Republicans will join us."
We got numbers: CNN poll guru Keating Holland on hand for instant poll on how speech played, results within the hour...
The Kennedy Letter.@PoliticalTicker Kennedy to Obama: “There will be struggles on health care reform"
RT The president's speech ends, but we'll be on after the Republican response from Rep. Charles Boustany
WH releases text of Ted Kennedy letter Obama mentioned: 'I wanted to write a few final words to you...'
RT @KuhnCNN: Picture from CNN Radio studio with @PrestonCNN, who is doing post-speech analysis:
RT @PoliticalTicker: "Obama ready to move on tort reform" –
Spokesman says GOP Members did bring copies of Republican bills to the floor w/ them tonight to show that they do have healthcare proposals.


Filed under: Popular Posts • Social Networking • Twitter
August 27th, 2009
03:25 PM ET
9 years ago

Kennedy family starts Twitter account

The official account of the Kennedy family will inform followers about memorial and funeral plans.

The official account of the Kennedy family will inform followers about memorial and funeral plans.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Kennedy family started a Twitter account Wednesday to inform followers about memorial and funeral plans for Senator Ted Kennedy.

The account - @KennedyNews - has sent out four messages thus far. Posted yesterday, the first "tweet" noted, "This is the official account of the Kennedy family and staff. Will be used for info about memorial and funeral activities. #tedkennedy."

Since his death, Ted Kennedy has been one of the leading topics of conversation on the micro-blog social networking site that prides itself for keeping tabs on the nation's conversation minute-by-minute. @KennedyNews links back to, which is operated by the Committee for a Democratic Majority.

Follow Eric Kuhn on Twitter @KuhnCNN

Filed under: Popular Posts • Social Networking • Ted Kennedy • Twitter
August 26th, 2009
04:00 PM ET
9 years ago

Politicians send Ted Kennedy condolences on Twitter

WASHINGTON (CNN) - While dignitaries from around the world have been revealing their thoughts on the passing of Ted Kennedy, others have taken to Twitter to express their views and feelings in 140 characters. Twitter has been buzzing today with memories and condolences from across the political spectrum:

(See tweets after the jump)

Filed under: Social Networking • Ted Kennedy • Twitter
August 25th, 2009
04:05 PM ET
9 years ago

Republican on new media: You can teach an old dog new tricks

Four House Republicans have formed the Republican New Media Caucus.

Four House Republicans have formed the Republican New Media Caucus.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Four Republicans behind the House Republican New Media Caucus (@GOPNMC on Twitter) are aiming to set a technological example for their colleagues.

"It's like that old saying 'you can't teach an old dog new tricks,'" Ohio Republican Rep. Bob Latta told CNN, "Well, yeah, you can."

Latta (@boblatta on Twitter) along with fellow Republicans Rep. John Culberson of Texas (@johnculberson), Rep. Buck McKeon (@BuckMcKeon) of California, and Rep. Rob Wittman (@RobWittman) of Virginia are the co-chairs of the House GOP New Media Caucus.

Roughly 60 House Republicans have joined the caucus, according to Latta's office. The group plans to sponsor staff briefings every four to eight weeks where Republican staffers will have the opportunity to meet with representatives of technology companies like YouTube, Apple, and BlackBerry maker Research in Motion.

The caucus, which recently launched a Web site, is scouting social media services and other new technologies that might be of use to the rest of House Republican Conference in keeping in touch with the public.

Constituents "want to be kept up to date from us right now," Latta said, "They don't want to have to wait half a day, or a day, or two days later to actually get the communication," from a congressional office. So, the group is trying to identify "best practices" on social media services like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Qik, and UStream.

The four men are also using the technologies themselves, an effort to set an example for colleagues who may be reticent to try out social media.

Filed under: GOP • House • Social Media • Social Networking
August 24th, 2009
02:20 PM ET
9 years ago

Progressives launch new site to help organize on Twitter

 A new site launched to help progressives organize on Twitter.

A new site launched to help progressives organize on Twitter.

Tracy Viselli, a progressive blogger and social media consultant who admitted on Friday to CNN that conservatives have the upper hand on Twitter, launched a Web site Monday geared towards changing the paradigm on Twitter.

Viselli, along with developer Jim Gilliam, blogger Jon Pincus, and Netroots Nation board member Gina Cooper created "to start seriously building progressive infrastructure on Twitter."

"What we are doing first is building up the directory of progressives on Twitter," Viselli told CNN. is going to help mentor progressives on how to best use Twitter, filter data to allow people to follow the "P2" (progressives 2.0) hash tag, encourage new tweeters, and continue adding and implementing ideas to better organize.

Pincus co-founded "#P2" – a way to category a tweet, allowing for easy search optimization – six months ago with Viselli and is also behind the new site. He told CNN in an e-mail, "The timing now is perfect to ramp into the legislative battles the second half of this year - and the 2010 midterms...With the summer winding down, now's a great time to be launching"

For progressives, this first step is hopefully a launching pad for further grassroots efforts on Twitter. "We hope in the future to find ways to deploy action on Twitter," says Viselli. "But we are not there yet."

So far, over 1,150 people had singed up to participate in

Filed under: Social Networking • Twitter
August 21st, 2009
12:00 PM ET
9 years ago

Liberal bloggers admit conservatives have upper hand on Twitter

Which party has the upper hand on Twitter?

Which party has the upper hand on Twitter?

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Liberal bloggers established online political activism, besting their conservative rivals during President George W. Bush's eight years in office. But conservatives are now finding great success 140 characters at a time. Even this week, the conservative organization Club For Growth promoted their Twitter account on their $1.2 million ad campaign against health care.

Even though President Obama and national Democrats use Twitter – the social micro blog that everyone from Ashton Kutcher and Shaquille O'Neal to Chuck Grassley and Newt Gingrich often use to directly speak to followers – Republicans have embraced the technology. And with major policy issues being debated and the midterm elections right around the corner, liberal bloggers acknowledge the GOP has the upper hand when it comes to using 140 character messages known as "tweets" to influence the discussion.

"While it is obvious the progressive blogosphere is superior, we are being out-organized on Twitter," said Gina Cooper, a blogger who helped organize Netroots Nation, an annual gathering of online liberal activists that met last week in Pittsburgh. "There is some catching up to do on the progressive side."

Filed under: Social Networking • Twitter
August 17th, 2009
04:45 PM ET
9 years ago

President Obama to debut on BlogTalkRadio, a social networking site, will host President Obama on Wednesday., a social networking site, will host President Obama on Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - On the social networking check list, President Barack Obama has been able to check off Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Now he will add another social network to his list: BlogTalkRadio.

Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET, 40 Minutes for Health Reform, hosted by a coalition of pro-reform faith groups which are multi-denominational, will premiere. For the first 30 minutes, faith-based leaders and a top ranking administration official (all to be officially announced tomorrow) will "share their stories about how our broken health care system has affected the lives of their loved ones and what is at stake in this debate," according to Faith in Public Life spokesperson Kristin Williams. Obama will then talk for the next 10 minutes.

Audience members will be encouraged to call in and listen to the show (but will not be able to speak on air) or can listen live on While the interview is occurring, "listeners will be tweeting it and putting it up on their Facebook pages," BlogTalkRadio Founder and CEO Alan Levy told CNN. "We are really one of the only platforms that can enable a live conversation to take place. A platform that enables Obama to reach large audiences through social tools."

Other political guests who have appeared on BlogTalkRadio include Michelle Obama, John McCain, Oliver Stone, and Yoko Ono. The Pentagon also has a Radio Network on the site.

Once 40 Minutes for Health Reform concludes, the show will be immediately achieved and available to listen to on the site, indexed for Google searches, syndicated and shared on social networks. The Wednesday show is the only one planned, but Williams said they are open to having future events on this platform.

Filed under: President Obama • Social Networking
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