Sarah Palin Web Brigade

sarahpalinlinksFay, better known as @SarahPalinLinks, uses the Sarah Palin Twitter group as part of a network of Web sites supporting Alaska’s former governor. In this interview she describes what she likes about twibes and how it fits in to her broader Twitter campaign.



Adam Loving:

You’re the founder of the “Sarah Palin Web Brigade Twibe,” right?

Fay:

That’s correct.

Adam:

Can you just tell me a little bit about how you got involved with Sarah Palin, and how you found Twibes, and what you use it for?

Fay:

Well I got involved in supporting Sarah Palin back in the 2008 Election. I was very disappointed that she is not now our Vice-President and hoping sincerely that she will be our next President, because I feel that she is the right person to lead us forward in a direction that will take us back to the conservative values that our founding fathers espoused. The Twibe is an outgrowth from our Twitter efforts.

The “Sarah Palin Web Brigade” is a network of 12 websites, and among those websites, we have a Twitter website @SarahPalinLinks. All of our Tweets go to the Twibe, as well as members who have joined the Twibe. Let’s say all of Tweets that have the SPWBT tag applied to them.

Sarah Palin supporters can join the Twibe and add the SPWBT tag to their Tweets, and pool their Sarah Palin Tweets so that we can all see what news is available about Sarah’s activities. And this week it’s very abundant–these last two weeks.

Adam:

Right.

Fay:

It’s just a place to support Sarah Palin, and to compare our notes on our activities, and her activities, and just generally a Sarah Palin support site.

Adam:

That’s great. How have you found generally–how does Twitter work with in conjunction with that network of websites? Do you find it’s the same people but it’s easier to communicate? Or is it a different audience of people on Twitter?

Fay:

Well, I think that we have–it’s–generally, there are a lot of people that are interested in Sarah Palin. We have about, on the Twitter site, we have about–over 3,000 followers now. Some of them–there are other Twitter sites that have a lot of followers also, so there’s a lot of interest in Sarah Palin. Now I’d say that the ones that join the Twibe are the group that’s probably the most active in supporting her–through their Twitter efforts, and blogging, and other efforts on the Internet.

Adam:

So is this like a part-time job for you, a hobby on the side or? How much time do you spend on the Twitter site and your own sites?

Fay:

Well, all together, between all the websites, I don’t keep track of my time. Let’s say all of my spare time and then some.
[laughter]

Adam:

I hear you. I hear you.

Fay:

There is so much to do. There’s always something that you have to put on the backburner until you can get to it, so I just think that Twitter and the Twibe and all the other groups out there just a way to pool your efforts, so everybody knows what everybody else is doing–and everybody wants to know what Sarah’s doing.

We all call her “Sarah,” but we should probably call her “Governor Palin.” But that’s part of her–of the attractiveness of her persona–is her “down to earth”-ness and just her availability.

Adam:

And so you mentioned you had some questions for me? What have you got?

Fay:

Yes I had several. Are we still being recorded?

Adam:

Yeah, yeah.

Fay:

There are some features that I really like about the Twibes–three in particular. I like the ability to use more than 140 characters. Whenever I have a long message, I can go to the Twibe and type it in and it’s still accessible through Twitter so it shows up on Twitter. You can click on it and it gives you the whole message–so you’re not limited to 140 characters.
And I like the re-Tweet feature better on Twitter’s, because when you hit on re-Tweet, it pops up in your message box, and you can alter it–if you want to. You can add something to it. Or if you just want it to go to certain tags you can just put on the ones that you want it go to.

And you can also post to the Twibe page, so it has a certain amount of privacy to it. It just doesn’t go out all over Twitter. If you want to say something to the group, to Twibe, you can do so.

Adam:

Cool. Some of those things are fairly subtle, so I’m glad you noticed it. The long Tweets, for example, it’s not obvious that you can do that necessarily. So great.

Fay:

Yes, I had to do that one just in the last few days because there was something that I needed to say, and I couldn’t say it on Twitter so.

Adam:

Cool. Anything that’s not working…

Fay:

Another thing, too, is a lot of times you have problems with the Twitter feeds and you can’t post on Twitter. No, no, let me back up. Your Twitter Tweets won’t post on any of the Twitter groups, unless your feed is working. Sometimes they get dropped for various reasons but if your Twitter feed is not working you can still post on the Twibe by going into the box there, and it still shows up on the Twibe.
I also noticed that during that period of time when Twitter went down–when it was hacked, that the Twibe still functioned. You could still use the message function on Twibe for sometime after that happened. So they lasted longer than Twitter. So that’s good. You’ve got some advantages.

Adam:

Well, that’s good, considering I’m’ just one guy and they’re a whole company, that’s good.

Fay:

Sorry?

Adam:

Considering that I’m just one guy, and they’re a whole company, I’m very proud of that.

Fay:

Yeah. You’ve got some definitely unique features. Those are just some of the ones that I found that are an advantage but there are a lot of unique features with the Twibe, that you keep adding.

Adam:

I keep trying. What have you found to be difficult or hard to explain to people when they land on Twibes?

Fay:

What have I found to be difficult?

Adam:

Yes.

Fay:

The one thing that I have noticed, is the display of the tweets. Obviously, you can click on anybody’s Twibe Tweets and find them, but sometimes all the Tweets don’t show up. One time–this morning, I noticed there was one that was done two hours, fourteen hours, one day and two days. There were some in between, farther down the page–when you get to the bottom of the page. Some of them don’t continue to show up. So that is a little bit of a–you know, you’d like to be able to get all of them and see them and even having some pages you could click at the bottom, if you go back to the ‘Previous Tweets’ would be really nice.
Adam. I see. There should be a button there, and I see it’s missing.

Fay:

Oh and the robots. It’s funny how the robots sometimes picks up some of your main Tweets. But I was wondering was there was any way to set the robot to update more often? Or the particular time, say once an hour, or once every 30 minutes?
Adam. Yeah. Sure, I can do that. I think it’s once an hour now–if a Tweet has occurred. I believe it Tweets at most, once an hour now, so if a Tweet has occurred in the last hour, it will tweet it. I can turn that down to a half an hour and we’ll see if that gets too noisy.

Fay:

I wanted to mention the hoodie that you sent. It’s my son’s favorite hoodie now.
Adam. Great. It was fun making those. I actually ordered a couple for myself, and I was glad at how good they came out. So good–I’m glad he likes it.

Fay:

They turned out very nice.

Adam:

I just wanted to give you some explanation on the reason why not all the Tweets show up. It’s actually a limitation in how I’m able to get those from Twitter. Since your Twibe has so many members since there’s 200 members, I can only search for five or six of them at a time. So you see that little counter that says “Next Search in 10 seconds” or “Next Search in 20 seconds” at the top?
It’s actually working its way through and searching everybody’s Tweets for ones that match the keywords. We do that both as you’re the viewing the page, but also the server on the backend does it. It’s working hard to try and collect all the Tweets for all the people in all the Twibes, but there are enough people that it has to work through at a certain pace. That’s why it doesn’t always catch them. I do from time to time try and tweak it so it does find more, but that’s kind of a limitation that I’m working with.

Fay:

What you’re really looking for is the latest ones anyway. Sometimes you’d like to look backwards and just see if there were any you missed, in between times.

Adam:

Right. You mentioned that your Twitter page has like 3000 followers. I see 3200, in fact. Do you actively try and promote the Twibe? Or are you just happy to have followers? Or do you have any other techniques? With 200 members, the Twibe is more successful than most. Some people do start a Twibe, and they have five or ten members and they’re trying to learn how they can recruit more. Do you have any special tips? You probably just linked to it from your Twitter accounts and also from your multiple sites. Any other tricks you can recommend?

Fay:

I periodically send out a Tweet to people that joined Twibes. We also have a little icon set up on the MySpace and on WordPress sites where you can click to join. On our Blogger, and our Ning site, we have a feed. I was able to put a feed there. The WordPress and MySpace formats wouldn’t accommodate the feed, but there’s a very nice feed on the Ning site, and the Blogger site, which has the latest Tweets and has a link where you can join the Twibe.

Adam:

Yes I spotted that down on the right hand side. Yes.

Fay:

Sorry?

Adam:

I spotted the link to Twibes on the right-hand side of the WordPress site. Cool.

Fay:

If you get HTML code that will work on WordPress or MySpace let me know. Then I can get the feed there also.

Adam:

Anything else I can help you with while I’ve got you on the phone? I know we were talking about spammers yesterday. There is in fact, a menu, I have it on my screen up here. If you’re signed-in as the founder, it should show a red X in that pop up menu and that will give you the option…

Fay:

Yes, I used that this morning.

Adam:

You found that? Great.

Fay:

I appreciate that.

Adam:

It’s annoying, but at least it gives us a way to quickly shut people down.

Fay:

Yes, everybody is welcome that is as least “friendly” to Sarah Palin. On our sites, we are not going to give a platform for anybody to bash Sarah Palin. Our sites are “Palin-friendly” sites. We support Sarah Palin 100% and maybe better. We’re just not going to tolerate some of the vitriol that we see out on the Internet. It’s a safe haven for Sarah Palin supporters. That’s what it’s intended to be.

Adam:

Any other things you’ve had troubles with lately?

Fay:

Sorry?

Adam:

Any other things that you have had trouble with lately?

Fay:

No. These are mostly minor things that I have mentioned. It’s a pretty stable site and very attractive. There are a lot of things you can do with the graphics, and so forth, if you have the skills. I think we have been able to use my limited graphics skills to make an attractive site. With what you provide there.

Adam:

Great. Okey-doke. Unless you have any other questions for me, I will get out of your way and let you have a great weekend.

Fay:

You too. I appreciate being able to talk with you.

Adam:

It’s been a pleasure.

Fay:

You have done a great job.

Adam:

Thanks very much. You certainly know where to find me. Let me know if anything comes up.

Fay:

OK.

Adam:

Take care.

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