Mark Trahant is a writer, speaker and Twitter poet. He is a member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes and lives in Fort Hall, Idaho. Trahant’s recent book, “The Last Great Battle of the Indian Wars,” is the story of Sen. Henry Jackson and Forrest Gerard.
Last week President Barack Obama held his first town hall on Twitter. A really great idea and I plunged in with this question:
“#AskObama Indian Cntry’s unemployment rate is unacceptable. Cutting govt jobs will make this situation far worse. What steps to fix this?” @TrahantReports
A Twitter town hall is a great idea. In theory. This first round revealed three huge problems.
First, the president didn’t play the game. Twitter requires focus, honing and shaping ideas into 140 characters.
This is not an easy thing to do, but its very nature it changes the conversation. Twitter captures raw essence, not routine answers. The president stuck with routine answers.