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Twitter launches election site to tap election 'tweets'

Site features hot election topics of Twitter users; constantly updates campaign posts

By Heather Havenstein
September 26, 2008 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Microblogging site Twitter has added an election site that uses its trending and search technology to perform real-time analysis of election-related posts of its users.

The election site -- launched to coincide with today's presidential debate in Mississippi -- features highlights of "hot election topics" that are determined by Twitter user search queries. The site also includes a ticker of posts that is updated every few seconds.

Whenever Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) update their Twitter accounts, the posts will also be added to Twitter's central election site. Users can also filter the main timeline of posts by candidate name, Twitter said.

"Twitter is the pulse of what is happening with the people, organizations and events you care about -- delivered immediately, wherever you are," Twitter said in a blog post. "Proven compelling during shared events ranging from earthquakes to film festivals, Twitter now introduces an engaging new way to participate in democracy."

Twitter is increasingly being used to broadcast short messages, or tweets, from various newsmaking entities, including NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander and members of Congress. Some companies are even monitoring Twitter for customer service complaints.

Last month, Republicans in Congress used Twitter to help stage a protest over a piece of legislation.

Earlier this month, protesters at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis used Twitter to help organize their movements and elude police.

Read more about Web Apps in Computerworld's Web Apps Topic Center.



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