Twitter, the micro-update social networking site, has set up an event page for the Gujarat Assembly elections 2012 that updates tweets related to the election in real time. Anyone, whether registered on the website or not, can access the page at twitter.com/hashtag/GujaratElections.
Curated Tweets, Not Just The Hashtag
The Gujarat Election event page on Twitter includes curated content in real time by Twitter’s team and tweets that include the hashtag #GujaratElections. It appears that the stream picks up any tweets and photos that includes Gujarat Elections related keywords in the tweets. At the time of writing this article we noticed that it has picked up tweets and photos that include words such as Gujarat Elections and Narendra Modi, irrespective of whether the user has tweeted them with a hashtag.
The top accounts featured by Twitter on the page are mostly those of news sites. Users can also browse through photos uploaded by users in real time.
Modi’s Use Of Social Media
It’s worth noting that Narendra Modi has made use of social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus during his election campaign. On August 31, Modi held a Google Plus hangout with Google Plus users. The hangout was also broadcasted live on YouTube. Modi also has a fairly active Twitter and Facebook profile. We believe that he’s the only politician in India apart from the prime minister of India to have appointed a PR agency to handle his social media activities.
Previous Twitter Pages For India
Previously, Twitter had set up an event page for the Indian festival, Diwali. The stream picked up any tweets and photos with the hashtag #Diwali and #MyLights. Apart from that, Twitter had also setup an event page for the US presidential election this year. Twitter had reported that the website experienced more than 31 million election-related tweets on the election night. US president, Barack Obama’s tweet declaring four more years of presidential seat became the most retweeted tweet in the history of the website.
For sometime now, Twitter has become the go to place for news where fellow twitterers share breaking news and get access to breaking news much before it’s been reported on news sites and channels.
Recently, Rediff had launched the Rediff Sentimeter, an interactive map-based tool that predicts who could win the Gujarat assembly election 2012. Rajesh Jain backed online media company Niti Digital launched an elections data site called Indiavotes.com. Indiavotes has data on Lok Sabha (parliamentary) elections since 1952 and all state elections since 1977. There’s also MyNeta.info*, which provides information on various candidates.
*Disclosure: Nikhil Pahwa, the editor of this site, is related to Jagdeep Chokkar, one of the founders of the Association for Democratic Reforms, which runs MyNeta.info.