Hear that rustling and rumbling in the background? That’s the sound of thousands of activists, journalists, bloggers and advocacy groups getting ready to spin tonight’s State of the Union address as it happens, live and online. The “traditional” (broadcast-era) way to respond to the speech was quite limited — a few talking heads and politicos would take to the airwaves, while advocates would spew out press releases and statements in the hopes of ending up in the next day’s coverage of the affair.
Nowadays, we get to join in DURING the speech, and the fun isn’t constrained to the handful of people with access to a television camera or a reporter’s notebook — Twitter, Facebook and blogs will play host to an extended conversation involving thousands of us scattered across the country. The goal? To get noticed, of course, but also to influence the discussion as it occurs, and ultimately to color the final political conventional wisdom about the Meaning Of The Night.