Definition


I captured by the political comments being generated on twitter. The life force being constantly fed by comments from all factions of the political and even non-political corners was intoxicating. I decided to focus on the exigence of this genre.

Exigence


The need for a response to tweets was very evident in the amount of RT's that were being generated. The reaction was not always what was expected from the receivers or the tweeters. One example of a RT was from GaltsGirl in which she RT the #teaparty and tagged with (laugh alert). The response was not of agreement, but of humor or irony. The exigence was also influenced by the time of day. I noticed that early, dinner time (subjective) and late in the evening the tweets were more along party lines. The tweets were so overwhelming on the day that the president gave a speech, that the search engine for twitter was temporarily down. When I searched for the #teaparty or #gop, I was unable to get any results. The fact that hash tags are used by others who are not involved in the original rhetorical meaning of the creation of the tag, but use it to target that audience to disseminate the opposite message creates an environment of discourse. This invokes a response from the audience that has been invaded by the outsider.

Location


To assume that a certain location could be pinpointed for the generation of the tweets was naive on my part. I expected to see the majority of the gop tweets from the deep south and eastern states. I was proven wrong! The melting pot was just that, a melting pot. The tweets generated from all corners of the U.S. and they were from all sides of the argument.


Some tweeters make attempts to legitimize themselves by using negative actions and create categories for other tweeters. This is an attempt, using rhetoric, to lead the audience into acting or following the tweeter to other sites to legitimize the message being sent. If the tweeter is able to invoke the response the audience will begin to travel throughout the site reading from other tweeters who will continue the rhetorical message or enhance on it in other ways. The political tweets have many of these traits in them. The author may or may not be the creator of the message, but that is not what matters. The message is created and tweeted in that persons account therefore sending the rhetorical message that the tweeter is indeed the owner of the account. Reaction words are being used to vex the audience into a response of action which could be linking from negative message to the next in a series that never seems to quit. The action is like the wave that gets started in a stadium. The kairos is perfect because of the legislation that is being passed by one political party and the other is reacting. The Tea Party Platform (the wave) with all of the negative rhetoric.

Following these tweets created a response of wanting to continue and link to the next person to see what relation was being established with the next or previous rhetor. The messages had me following the location of the tweets and noticing what demographic was involved in the stream. The hash tags that are associated with the tea party are #gop, #teaparty, #liberty, and #patriots. I found rhetorical meaning in this since there are tweets from gop members and their discourse with the tea party movement. Yet another negative rhetorical situation. The use of the words was terse and argumentative and defined a niche within the gop for the tea party followers. The use of words like troll and monster as the tag names for the tweeters leads to the Ethos of the owner. The words are associated with dominance, disruptive, power, and male figures. There are two categories of followers, those that agree with the #teaparty and those that don't. Tweets are being RT for many reasons. There are those who find the humor in a tweet such as chernowa who RT the tweet from afaberman about SarhaP being bullied by a moose every time someone kicks a hippi. There are so many tweets to the #teaparty, it takes a great amount of time to search the site for tweets using this tag.

Public Performance


Loneranger2_normal Indexma #RECESSION is when your neighbor loses his job~ #DEPRESSION is when U lose yours~ #RECOVERY is when Barack #Obama loses his! #tcot #teaparty

tlw3 AZ News: Witch burning ths Friday has bn delayed due 2 immigration bill resource allocation. More l8r. #p2 #gop #tcot #topprog #teaparty

nNomad_ @MarkImpomeni And the lies continue to be smeared across every twitter screen in America by rabid rightwing partisans. #p2 #tcot

teacherspets RT @welshman007: Harry Reid started a 'Tea Party of Nevada' group that is Leftwing, so he can then claim he supports and is supported by the Tea Party!

The performances on twitter are as addicting as the sitcoms on tv. The performers are motivated by the number of followers, not unlike the political campaigns that are staged in this country, and the number of RT. The comments, like the examples listed above, are loaded with choices in words that invoke a gut wrenching negative response or a sense of drowning. This creates a rhetorical mood, which is what the tweeter is aiming for. The kairos is perfect, the country is at a pinnacle of political separation and the performers have the stage set for their acts. The tweet about starting a leftwing teaparty movement is similar to what sagolla refers to when he says 'go positive'. This is an example of one of the positive tweets that I found when searching using teaparty.

Search Engine


The search engine I would use for this model would consist of the political heads of the days along with the political party acronyms and other political movements. This is just a foot in the door and from there the paths meander to reaches of the unknown. Follow the mouse clicks and open a new rhetorical horizon to the feelings of the world and all that that implies.


Performing (Another look)

Epideitics


A type of rhetoric best suited in writing as it’s best expression is fully formed when read. As I have found through my twitter browsing, the rhetorical form, epideitic is the brain of all twitter and from it, springs a plethora of re-tweets, searches and separated links to lead the readers on. When read, tweets come alive. When spoken aloud, it just doesn't have the same tone. It doesn't have the informative spirit, or humorous one-punch. There's something about inner thoughts that when read, ring truer than they would when spoken. If that's hard to wrap your brain around, think of great speeches that have been written and then you tried reading them...not as moving, is it?

Audiences and Performances in Twitter:


Performances

Tweets can be seen as performances in order to call attention. What is a performance other than that very thing, to capture and secure an audience. A politico such as Glenn Beck will tweet for several reasons, mostly to grab attention from his/her audience and secure it towards a specific aim. (ie: tea party, healthcare, etc.) Taking it a step back, the simplest form of one's performance on twitter is first their twitter name and picture, followed by the background of their page, and their profile information. These personal items are all reflections of the twitter user before they even have their first tweet! Although the person may argue they are personal choices made in order to create a unique look, it's still the aura or presence or...(gasp) performance! that one is giving to all of those in Twitterland.

Messages

A message then can be seen as a more personal thing. I classify personal thoughts, inside jokes, mini-autobiographies, gripes/complaints as tweeted messages that are there for a specific audience—their followers. A person is following someone on Twitter for a specific reason.

Types of followers

On Twitter we see several types of personalities, celebrities, political figures, fashionistas, sports guys/gals, wine connoisseurs, foodies, GLBT organizations, animal rights groups, comic book collectors, you name it! When following any of these, it’s because one has a spark of interest, or shared love with the tweeter. Therefore, when these tweets come up on your homepage, treat them as a message to.

When you enter the sign in page and see the “top-tweets” or when you decide to search for something in the search engine provided, or through the use of hash tags, you are finding “performances for” only because when you are not a follower of the tweeter these tweets to you are then general tweets. The minute you follow, they’re messages to.

RT’s

When considering your audience as Saggola tells us, see how often you are RT'd. Watch for the when’s and where’s of your tweets being posted by others and see your followers. Perhaps do some further researching and find some commonalities among these new-found fans of yours. For example, when several of your tweets are being RT’d by a number of folks who also love and are following the NRA…see where that takes you. Maybe they love your love of guns, maybe they share that love. RT’ing can also bridge connections to those who have all RT’d the same tweet.

RT’s I, personally, have made have you usually been along the lines of a thoughtful tweet, or a humorous tweet. When I click on the originator of that specific tweet, I am allowed to see who else RT’d the same tweet. I, now, have something in common with my fellow fans.


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