Hi, please

How is the Tea Party Movement using the Internet Age, ie Twitter, to it’s advantage?

Hello Hello, this is your special correspondent reporting to you from the crazy Tea Party Madness, we are throwing tons of tea into the Hudson River, come join us! Just kidding. It was a big week for the Tea Party movement, it was their anniversary on February 27th. Funny how we’ve only started to hear about them in the past few months.

What is the Tea Party?

  • What has made this group unique is the their use of technology in promoting their cause. They have using mostly, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and Blogs and also Fox News which has been the only television network that has reported this cause the most.
  • They are a grass roots movement, so most of there collaborating is done online and through viral marketing.

A timeline of events for this week:

2/27 – One year anniversary – groups are preparing for Tea Party Tax Day April 15th.

This week Speaker Pelosi acknowledges the Tea Party movement and their willingness to fight for their cause – via FoxNews

“Glenn Beck thinks the elite media is marginalizing the tea party movement because they think the participants are “just stupid people with pitchforks.” Beck told Fox & Friends that the movement was just going to get “stronger and stronger.” via FoxNew

Also, Arnold Schwarzenegger criticized the TP movement as something that will “twinkle and disappear” yet it is now spreading to the United Kingdom where many are creating events to gather and vent. Many of these reports were done through individual blogs and of course Fox News.

So how are these groups mobilizing?

First it began with a cause, and some believe hatred for their President and his race. (eeeek) Then the word spread as people decided to congregate in churches, groups and started tweeting about the movement. Then the sites went up. One site that I have been watching all week is the Tea Party Patriots.

When logging into their site you see a couple of options which are very important: As you can see in the list below – there is an option to blog, as well as tweet on behalf of the cause.

Join Us
Read How Start a Tea Party
Find a Tea Party Near Me
Download April 15, 2010 Banners
Post/Tweet To the Patriot Feed
Join Discussions
Post to Contract From America
Read Our Blog

3 MAIN MEDIUMS/NORMS:

Facebook -The Tea Party Patriots Page has over 96,000 fans alone.

Twitter – Tea Party Patriots - 1200 followers

YouTube – TPP Channel - 204 Subscribers

What does this all mean?
I have take one small faction of the Tea Party Movement, the Tea Party Patriots, joined their ranks an looked over the mediums they are using? Now why would they take this route? Maybe they are taking a page out of Obama’s book by starting with something that doesn’t require main stream media to endorse.

The new media age enables users to collaborate (as I mentioned in class last week). The Power Theory that Benkler discusses also is a good example of how these users are interacting. One person sends out a thread to a “not so interested” group of people, but they still skim over it. One of those people decides to broadcast that information, which then creates a domino effect. It is similar to celebrities no longer using publicist but their twitter feeds,

ASSUMPTIONS

A) It’s cheap

B) It’s unedited

C) More people will pay attention to it if their a humanistic quality (you feel personal closer to the users)

Another analysis I tried – Google – Tea Party – 35.1 million hits today

As you can see below I have also done some twitter stats for you all – for TPPatriot, the one group I am focusing this week’s research on.

The first graph is tweets per day:

The next graph is daily aggregated tweets:

The final is tweet density

To conclude – this is my analysis on TPP Patriots and their use of twitter. They use a twitter feed on their own site called the Patriot Feed where I have been updating my status and reading other users comments.

New Media = Tea Party, without these form of media/technology I don’t believe the Tea party would exist. This week a new movement has erupted called the Coffee Party as well.

If anyone is interested in attending a tea party event with me, please let me know!

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9 Comments

  1. Harris 07:38, Mar 2nd, 10

    Haha the wonders of the subversive power of the Internet do not end here. The Tea Party’s new challenger, the Coffee Party movement, already has more than 45,000 fans on Facebook :)
    http://is.gd/9wsj9

    “The local Tea Party and American Majority, a national activist training group, will conduct a six-hour training session today to teach citizens how to use the Internet and other resources to keep tabs on and lobby government leaders and to expand the Tea Party movement.”
    http://is.gd/9wsWf

  2. nadine 08:51, Mar 2nd, 10

    It seems like conservatives are catching up! During the presidential campaign in 2008, Republicans had limited political mobilization and fund-raising capacity in the blogosphere or in social media (compared to the campaign strategy of the Democrats). Analysts like Eric Boehlert argued that this was partly due to the fact that the Internet represented just an additional outlet in the “Republican noise machine,” secondary to radio programs. Has this changed? Is the Tea Party lead the Republicans to the next presidency?

  3. Harris 09:12, Mar 2nd, 10

    Oh and I’m v e r y interested in going to Tea Party events with you!

  4. ElzbthMllr 09:39, Mar 2nd, 10

    I’m not sure I’m brave enough to go to a Tea Party event with you – but what the heck if I’m free I’ll go, let me know when you plan on going :) I think it’s really interesting to evaluate the success of the movement based on its use of social networking sites like Twitter. I think there is a lot to learn about how they use these tools to mobilize and sustain their efforts.

    To Nadine’s point, I think Repubs still have a stronghold over talk radio, but the technology that allows for fast mobilization and engagement of people is nuetral (well politically netural – not socially or economically perhaps)…

    I read an interesting article from HuffPo about the Tea Party, check it out here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/reverend-billy/the-tea-party-has-a-point_b_479548.html

  5. juliette b 10:15, Mar 2nd, 10

    I think this is a really interesting phenomena and I really eager to better understand how it is organized>

    Especially cause I find somehow very contradictory and kind of challenging (communication wise) to go on twitter to recruit new people by throwing tea partys which sounds so old fashioned -and very republican.

  6. ElzbthMllr 10:46, Mar 2nd, 10

    By the way, have you heard of the Coffee Party? Check these guys out, I’d be way more convinced to go to one of their events :) http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/02/us/politics/02coffee.html?src=tptw

  7. HoniehLayla 11:13, Mar 2nd, 10

    E-

    Yes I have been hearing A LOT about this new group.

    “It had nearly 40,000 members as of Monday afternoon, but the numbers were growing quickly — about 11,000 people had signed on as fans since the morning.”

    I might just explore this group on the side because their cause is actually something I would be more interested in.

    I will definitely monitor their development, maybe do an analysis on the two.

    “The mission statement declares that the federal government is “not the enemy of the people, but the expression of our collective will, and that we must participate in the democratic process in order to address the challenges we face as Americans.”

    Also, the Tea Party has gone international with meetings and events forming in the UK.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,587672,00.html

  8. niharika 11:16, Mar 2nd, 10

    Just read up on the Coffee Party and what is even more interesting to me is that the 2 party political system prevalent in this country seems to be crossing over into the Social Media realm as well – The Tea Party vs The Coffee Party!

    I would be most intrigued if social networking sites and the ever-growing space of the Web were to give rise to alternate voices, apart from the Republicans and Democrats and encourage a multi-party alternative US.

  9. mushon 11:59, Mar 2nd, 10

    I am very interested in how the book of online organizing is written through these different example. Comparing TPP, the Obama campaign and the “Green Revolution” might also be very interesting.
    1200 followers on Twitter is not a whole lot. I wonder how indicative is their Twitter use of how TPP actually operates. I wonder if its a centralized, decentralized or distributed network. How is the back and forth between mainstream and social media working? And so on…