This is attention-deficit governing, driven by insecurity and enabled by the iPhone. In the short term, it creates the false sheen of engagement. Over the long haul, it's no way to build public support for the hard and expensive decisions to come.
Oh snap. Mayor Adams, who has over 16,000 followers, responded via Twitter, of course:
This morning, a sad, blank screen came up in place of Anna Griffin's Twitter account, saying her account had been suspended "due to strange activity." She's back online now, but I bet some spiteful Twitter user flagged her account as a vengeful response to her column.
Despite the onslaught of Twitter support for the mayor and criticism directed at Griffin, the O columnist is actually one of my favorite Twitterers. She knows the medium, uses it well and understands that the majority of online conversations about city policy happen on Twitter and blogs, not mainstream media articles.
So why attack the mayor's use of Twitter? Before Griffin's account was suspended, Matt Davis suggested her publisher put her up to it. "@annargriff responds, on behalf of her paper's publisher presumably, to @mayorsamadams 'report on nobody reads O-live'" tweeted Davis on Saturday. Griffin dismissed the idea with a Tweet of her own: "@mattdavis999 Actually, the only conversation I've had with our publisher was about a column he hated. Nice conspiracy theory, though."
Instead, Griffin explained just now via phone (so old fashioned!) that she sticks by her column's point that Adams' Twitter use is a "symptom for a bigger problem" with the mayor's governing style. "I'm a fan of Sam, I want him to do well, but I think that he has trouble sticking to one task and following through on it. I'm not saying, 'Get off Twitter.' I'm saying, 'Think about how you use it,'" says Griffin.
Personally, I think Twitter makes the Mayor more approachable and human, plus it helps publicize the incredible variety of discussions and events he participates in. But I think Griffin's right that the fun, shallow, scattershot style of his Tweets reflect his working style in general. It reminds me of his fast-paced year in review video: youth corps! organic garden! depaving! streetcar! Okay, phew, what's next?!