Danny Glover's New Gig: Editor of Capitol Hill Tweet Watch Report
BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, January 7 2010
The word came via email on Monday that Danny Glover, a veteran editor with National Journal and other publications, had taken over the editor's role at Capitol Hill Tweet Watch Report. The Tweet Watch Report was itself launched by techPres contributor David All's David All Group early last month, a daily email tracking what members of Congress, members of the press, and other relevant people are saying and doing on Twitter.
Glover's new gig is an interesting little mix of the state of modern journalism, new media, and old school politics, and so I asked him to walk me through his vision for the product. With the caveat that he's only been on the job three days now, Glover says he sees Capitol Hill Tweet Watch Report as having a two-pronged goal. The first is providing those people working in and around Congress with an easy way to get a sense of what's going down on Twitter, much in the way that The Hotline's Blogometer tracks what's being said on blogs. "I look at it as a news barometer of what people on Capitol Hill care about, what they're watching, what they think is important," he says. "Members of Congress and their staff need to be informed, at a minimum. Even if they don't use Twitter themselves, they need to be aware of what people are saying." The second, though, is to increase the pool of those on the Hill using Twitter by encouraging non-adopter members and staffers to model their tweeting colleagues. "There is some value," he says, "in getting them exposure to people who do know how to use it."
Recent Tweet Watch Reports featured commentary from the likes of the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza ("Wow. What a day in politics yesterday. Can anyone remember a day when there were 3 BIG retirement in the space of 12 hours?") to California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa. ("Unless we hold aggressive, immediate housing hearings, we'll just end up w/ more bailouts and no idea how your billions of $$$ evaporated.")
The Tweet Watch Report, says Glover, is a continuation of similar projects he's worked on, like NationalJournal.com's Beltway Blogroll blog that he ran during his time in editorial roles with NJ's Technology Daily publication, and AirCongress' Hill Tweet News, a private venture he started after leaving National Journal that experimented with a subscription model for juicy Hill tweets. (The going rate was $3 a month for most subscribers, but free for Members of Congress.)
It was during his work on Beltway that Glover says he met David All. Glover reports that he jumped at the chance when All asked him recently to take over the helm of the Capitol Hill Tweet Watch Report. All's firm is a new media shop specializing in conservative politics, and Glover has spent the last few years working in conservative politics himself. The Tweet Watch Report aims, says Glover, to be non-partisan. That said, "just in the three days I've done this, says Glover, "I've seen much more coming from the right than from the left." According to yesterday's Tweet Watch Report, Republican members of Congress outnumber their Democratic counterparts at a rate of two to one (currently 121 Republicans, 61 Democrats, and Bernie Sanders.) "I'd personally like to see Democratic members and other members of the left using Twitter," says Glover. "Our goal is to have the most important, most newsworthy, and most entertaining tweets of the day, regardless of where they come from," he continues. "But we can't tell them what to tweet."