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VIDEO: Why Tuesday? At 140Conf L.A.

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Why Tuesday? at 140Conf

Last month, as I let you know in advance here, I participated in a panel at the 140 Characters Conference at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles. The panel was called Hollywood Politics: The Making of a Twitter Cause Celeb and it was moderated by blogger Maegan Carberry.

We talked about how, in Maegan’s words, “Twitter has allowed real life celebrities and the newly created class of Twitter celebrities to participate in the political process.” My co-panelists were Variety Managing Editor Ted Johnson, Causecast director of strategic partnerships James Sutandyo and Participant Media’s Wendy Cohen.

I tried to stress how the work we do at Why Tuesday? towards increasing voter participation and turnout in elections goes hand-in-hand with technology like Twitter. Watch the complete panel discussion and read a recap some of my main points after the jump.

Here’s what I tried to hit during the panel:

• For Why Tuesday? our Twitter account has been something that’s allowed us to mobilize our supporters. While I didn’t speak about it on the panel, Twitter and Facebook singlehandedly powered us into second place in Ask The President, the initiative from the Washington Times, the Nation and Personal Democracy Forum. The power of Twitter nearly resulted in a question about election reform being asked of President Obama at one of his first prime time news conferences, something that would blow any election reformer’s mind.

• From my personal experience working with Why Tuesday? and from monitoring celebrity tweets for my job as the correspondent with AMC News, what I see as the most effective form of celebrity lobbying online is one where celebrities don’t just put forward causes to folks to rubber-stamp, but that actually allows them to participate in something offline, be it volunteering, voting, monitoring elections — or getting the President of the United States to address an issue at a prime-time news conference. Endorsements on Twitter easy to do, but translating ideas into action and reality is not the same thing.

Thanks to Maegan, Jeff Pulver and the 140 Characters Conference for having us.

For more from me and Why Tuesday?, following along with us on Twitter.

Photo of me and Wendy Cohen via jasondefillippo on Twitter.

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About Us

Why Tuesday? is a non-partisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2005 to find solutions to increase voter turnout and participation in elections... More

The Answer

In 1845, before Florida, California, and Texas were states or slavery had been abolished, Congress needed to pick a time for Americans to vote... More

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