Tales from the Trail

Washington Extra – Tweet tweet

President Barack Obama’s Twitter Townhall would have been more interesting if he had answered tweet for tweet.

Instead it looked a lot like an old-fashioned interview except the questions came over the transom on Twitter.

Of the tens of thousands of questions posed at #AskObama the ones chosen allowed the president to chew over long-standing talking points but offered little new insight. It might have been worth asking at least one fun question off the well-trodden policy path.

The White House did get into the novelty of it, inviting 140 guests to match the 140 characters allowed in a tweet. And Obama started off the event by tweeting from a laptop with a presidential logo set up on a stand.

But that was the last time during the event that he issued anything so brief. If his spoken answers had been tweeted in full they would have gone way past the red zone that signals over the limit on Twitter.

The tweets of your life, now archived at the Library of Congress

PRESIDENTSDid you tweet what you had for breakfast today? If so, that bagel and coffee are now immortalized, sort of, as the Library of Congress has acquired the entire Twitter archive. Billions of 140-character musings, some 55 million tweets a day, just waiting to be read. You may wonder if anyone reads your tweets, but at least they’ll be in good company.

Even though Twitter has only been around since 2006, there are tweets that will live in history, such as Barack Obama’s message when he won the presidency in 2008: “We just made history. All of this happened because you gave your time, talent and passion. All of this happened because of you. Thanks” — a pretty big message for 140 characters, and yet gets the story told.

The library announced the move on Twitter, of course. Twitter unveiled it on its blog from Chirp, the official Twitter Developer Conference in San Francisco.

Gibbs Twitter math: 4 days, 8 tweets, 22,500 followers

NUCEAR-IRAN/MISSILES-USABasically all White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs had to do was turn up … and they followed by the thousands.

Gibbs launched his first tweet on Twitter @PressSec this Saturday asking for micro-blogging tips and by Tuesday he had more than 22,500 followers. (OK so there may be a touch of envy from some of us still struggling in the three-digit follower realm).

Asked whether he was sending all the tweets — eight so far — himself, Gibbs replied: “Inexplicably, yes.”

Obama’s tweets hit milestone, but Ashton is the twitterer-in-chief

President Barack Obama may be the leader of the free world, but actor Ashton Kutcher is the king of twitter and pop princess Britney Spears is, USA/OBAMAer, its princess.

 Obama’s twitter feed recently attracted its 3 millionth follower, which was announced with this tweet — “As we kick off 2010, our Twitter community has grown to over 3 million. I continue to be grateful for your partnership as we work for change” — on Monday afternoon.

The development made Obama’s feed — actually run by the Democratic Party’s National Committee — only the fourth ever to garner such attention. But he still remains far behind the leaders, the Hill newspaper noted on its “Twitter Room” blog.  They each have 4 million followers, the blog said, citing TwitterCounter .