Mediatwits #55: Twitter, Facebook Rule DNC; Amazon’s Big Week

    by Mark Glaser
    September 7, 2012
    Twitter helped both the DNC and RNC set up special curated pages associated with their official hashtags

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    "We are not asking the question, 'Who do you intend to vote for?' We are essentially measuring what people are talking about and that can be powerful." -Adam Sharp, Twitter
    Click to read our whole series


    Welcome to the 55th episode of the Mediatwits podcast, with Mark Glaser and Rafat Ali as co-hosts. This week, we follow up our report from the RNC with three guests at the DNC in Charlotte: Adam Conner from Facebook; Adam Sharp from Twitter; and our MediaShift correspondent Ari Melber. This convention season has been a hit on social media, and we’ve seen so many numbers and graphics showing popular hashtags and memes. But what will it all mean in the end? Will it move the needle for the election?

    Also, Amazon has had a banner week, announcing a new line of Kindles, including an illuminated Paperwhite and a larger Kindle Fire. And the company’s nemesis Apple was disappointed by a settlement in an e-book price-fixing lawsuit between the states and three large publishers. Where does that leave the other two publishers and Apple, who are continuing their fight in court? Will it lead to cheaper e-book prices? We ask paidContent’s Jeff Roberts, as well as MediaShift correspondent Barbara Hernandez.

    Guest Bios


    Adam Sharp

    Adam Sharp is Twitter’s Senior Manager, Government, News and Social Innovation. He leads a team driving creative use of the platform by governments, political candidates, journalists, non-profit organizations and the faith community. Previously he was executive producer for digital services at C-SPAN and deputy chief of staff for U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu.

    Ari Melber is an attorney, television commentator and a correspondent for The Nation magazine. During the 2008 presidential election, Melber traveled with the Obama Campaign on special assignment for The Washington Independent. Previously, he served as a Legislative Aide in the U.S. Senate and as a national staff member of the 2004 John Kerry Presidential Campaign.

    Adam Conner is a Manager for Public Policy in Facebook’s Washington DC office, where he focuses on government and political outreach and has directed the company’s election efforts since 2007. Previously, Adam was the Director of Online Communications for Congresswoman Louise Slaughter.

    Jeff Roberts is the legal reporter for the GigaOm’s paidContent. He has previously worked for Reuters and written for the New York Time and The Economist. A former practicing lawyer, Jeff specializes in media-related copyright, patent and privacy issues.

    Barbara Hernandez is a correspondent for PBS MediaShift, covering e-book issues. She has more than a decade of experience as a professional journalist and college writing instructor, and she also writes for Press:Here, NBC Bay Area’s technology blog.


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    Adam Conner

    Intro and outro music by 3 Feet Up; mid-podcast music by Autumn Eyes via Mevio’s Music Alley.

    Here are some highlighted topics from the show:


    1:00: Big news in the political world and gadget world

    1:30: New devices coming from Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, Amazon and Apple

    4:20: Rafat: Are we only hearing our viewpoints echoed on social media?

    6:15: Rundown of topics on our show

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    Ari Melber

    Twitter, Facebook rule DNC

    7:00: Special guests Adam Sharp, Adam Conner, Ari Melber

    10:30: Sharp: Special #DNC2012 Twitter page highlights tweets that get most response, with some editorial judgment

    13:10: Conner: People on Facebook distribute their own news about conventions

    16:10: Melber: Fact-checking tweets gaining currency, going viral during conventions

    18:30: Sharp: Twitter sentiment for candidates does mirror polls

    21:30: Melber: The press has addict behavior when it comes to political conventions

    i-fa692f9982c1b32a89b4eb4dcfd87672-barbara hernandez headshot.jpg

    Barbara Hernandez

    24:30: Conner: We see a lot of use on Facebook for political organizing, including new app from Obama campaign

    Amazon’s big week

    26:20: Special guests Jeff Roberts and Barbara Hernandez

    29:10: Roberts: Big surprise that judge approved the e-book price-fixing settlement

    31:30: Hernandez: Will Amazon go back to selling e-books cheaper?

    32:20: Roberts: Amazon gaining power; publishers hate them for keeping data on customers

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    Jeff Roberts

    34:20: Mark: Shouldn’t price of e-book be cheaper than hardback book?

    More Reading

    Social Media Makes Old-School Political Conventions New Again by Ari Melber

    Infographics: The Daily Social Media Buzz at the DNC by Kathleen Hessert

    Why Fact-Checking Has Taken Root in this Year’s Election by Frank Strong

    Twitter Political Index

    DNC’s Twitter Victory Wasn’t Won on Level Playing Field at Nextgov

    Amazon announces $499 Kindle Fire HD with 4G LTE, $50 a year for 250MB monthly at Engadget

    Live blog: Amazon unveils 4 new Kindles, Kindle Serials at GigaOm

    Breaking: Judge approves e-book price-fixing settlement at paidContent

    Explainer: What the E-Book Settlement Means for Publishers, Apple and You at paidContent

    Three Publishers Agree to $69 Million E-Book Settlement at LA Times

    Apple Slams Justice Department’s Proposed E-book Settlement at CNET

    MediaShift Poll

    Don’t forget to vote in our poll, this time about the price of an e-book:

    Mark Glaser is executive editor of MediaShift and Idea Lab. He also writes the bi-weekly OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association. He lives in San Francisco with his son Julian and fiancee Renee. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit. and Circle him on Google+

    Tagged: #dnc2012 amazon apple book publishers democratic national convention dnc e-books facebook lawsuit price-fixing rnc twitter

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