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The New Media: How Tweet It Is ...

I am a relatively new contributor to Real Clear Politics, and admit that for the first time I just hit the Twitter tab on the home page. I have never hit any Twitter tab on any page, anywhere.

I am visibly shaken.

I am now wondering if ...

... I am still sleeping, because whatever it is that's happening on that page just can't be real. Can't be ...

... I am unfortunately very much awake, and have been forcibly coaxed to take my skepticism of a world gone mad up by about 11 notches.

... I can stop wondering once and for all why people don't read newspapers anymore.

... Attention Deficit Disorder is actually an under-diagnosed condition that threatens to wipe out an entire generation.

... Alleged journalists should mess around with this, but if they feel they must ... at least it is original content, and better than practicing all this plagiarizing that seems to be infiltrating our ranks these days.

Really, at this very moment, I just think it is all completely bizarre.

Yes, I suppose that makes me at least pretty old and very stodgy.

Yes, I realize that the White House announced recently that it will start tweeting its message to out-tweet the nay-tweeters.

I fear this is somehow viewed as progress in breaking through the partisan logjam.

And speaking of the White House ...

My gosh, I just went back in that place and Karl Rove is tweeting!

This really flusters me, because I was ready to make the case that so much of the undecipherable gibberish on that page seems to be coming from youngsters who enjoy gibbering, er, tweeting, about things that the rest of us pretty-old folks can't possibly understand.

Rove is plenty old, though. There's no getting around it.

And here's what he is tweeting:

KarlRove: @JcupM Thanks for following me, too. I hope you enjoy the Tweets.

Holy cow.

This is scary because I really think this is actually Karl Rove. When I clicked his link it took me to some Twitter page, where among other things, the person who might really be Karl Rove, is promoting what might be his book.

And something called, JcupM tweets: Cant believe @KarlRove is actually following me!!! That is so freaking awesome =)

Frankly, I would be terrified if Karl Rove was following me. Used to be he had a fair amount of influence with the guy who was the boss of the whole military. In other words, the old dude's connected with some heavy-hitters.

I would prefer people like that not know my business. Any of it.

Before going too much further hammering this wacky propagandizing, I should admit that I am on Facebook, and occasionally (yesterday) put up a link to something I have written. I do this because I want forced proof that somebody -- anybody -- is reading my stuff.

But it's different, because on Facebook I am among 'friends.' There's a big difference there. Er, right?

OK, OK, I am justifying this because I feel kind of wormy about doing it. I feel that by imposing on them, my friends might turn on me.

Anyway, I have 65 friends on Facebook, which in another time would have made me a darn popular fella. These days that paltry number pretty much makes me a loner.

My daughters have hundreds and hundreds of friends. As their dad I am proud of them for having so many friends, though as a dad I am pretty much always proud of them.

Thing is, folks that I otherwise thought were complete losers (you know who you are) also have hundreds and hundreds of friends. Dang ... who's the real loser here, eh?

But let's not dwell on that, and swerve back to Twitter and its odd place in journalism these days ...

When I was coming through the newspaper ranks you were taught to avoid at all costs making the story about you, or the publication you worked for.

I was told nobody cared about you or the publication.

I agreed with this mostly because I was ordered to. When I became a manager I ordered my staffers to agree with this, too.

Sometimes becoming part of the story was unavoidable, but an effort was always made not to.

The rules have obviously changed in 2010.

In scrawling through the tweets in that awful place, I noticed that people who very well might be Anderson Cooper, Rachel Maddow, Arianna Huffington and Jake Tapper were all tweeting.
I am sure there are scores of others like them who are also tweeting.

I also noticed that publications, websites, and networks that very well could really be FOX, Politico, Time, The Daily Kos, and N.Y. Times were peppering the place with tweets to tease other tweeters to their businesses.

I guess most of this tweeting was designed to get eyes on them or their products. More eyes means more readers and viewers, and potentially more advertisers.

So now I am wondering if despite how childish all of it reads, and how egocentric it obviously is ... if it somehow works?

@U: I m also wundrng if I shud resort 2 dis dog =).

(Got a tip, a gripe, or some kudos? Send 'em along.)