Without A Net

Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

How Twitter-friendly are Gov. Jerry Brown and President Obama? (interactive)

62110 full
62110 full

President Obama tends to speak in short bites, and Yahoo News points out that, of 50 major Obama speeches they analyzed, over half of each speech’s lines came it at 120 characters or less. He’s the first president in the era of Twitter, and those tweetable, Twitter-friendly lines make it easy for his major points to spread on social media.

How does California’s own Gov. Jerry Brown compare? Looking back, his 2011 Inaugural Address came in at 53 percent tweetable. By the time his 2011 State of the State rolled around, he was up slightly to 56 percent.

A year later, though, Brown took that up another level, jumping to 70 percent for the 2012 State of the State. He peaked in 2013 with 73 percent this past January.

The trend upward is continuing. At a commencement address last month at the University of California, Berkeley, Brown’s speech came in at 77 percent tweetable. Could he hit the 80 percent mark by 2014?

As the governor's press secretary Evan Westrup put it in an email to KPCC, "Sometimes less truly is more."

As Yahoo put it, “Most people tweet from their laptops or smartphones. Barack Obama tweets directly from his mouth.” Is this merely a sign of the times and short attention spans, or is there some more craft to it? You only need a few good lines to be in Twitter-friendly territory to make sure they spread, so don’t expect to see a 100 percent tweetable speech anytime soon.

Personally, I’m going to #start trying to #speak in only #hashtags. (That sentence was 27 percent hashtags.)

This story has been updated.

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