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What Does the New 'Tweets per Minute' Metric Really Mean?


Are the metrics generated by social media actually relevant?


There's no doubt that tomorrow we'll be reading about Obama's TPM as a reflection of something important about tonight's speech in Charlotte. I'm planning to pay more attention to exactly which phrases get Tweeted most. As the media also pointed out earlier this week, Lilly Ledbetter, whose convention night TPM was "the highest peak of any speaker at either convention NOT in the 10 p.m. hour" (according to Twitter's @gov account), successfully summoned multiple followers with lines like "Women still earn only 77 cents for every dollar a man makes" and "Maybe 23 cents doesn't sound like a lot to someone with a Swiss bank account and a Cayman Island investment."

Arguably, it's Tweets like these -- the political sound bites of this century -- that offer a better reading of what's resonating with Americans, especially when compared to traditional sound bites selected by TV and radio news directors. That's not to suggest that the Twittering class represents all people, but it gets us closer.

Then again, maybe Obama should polish his version of Wannabe -- if he wants to be our leader.

Also see:
The 5 Phrases That Should Always Raise Red Flags
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