Monday, December 12, 2011

Compose #AfghanistanTuesday Super-Tweets!

Want to compose #AfghanistanTuesday tweets that people read, retweet, reply to, think about, emulate ...? Want to really start something with your #AfghanistanTuesday tweets?

I looked through the week-by-week list of #AfghanistanTuesday top tweets and came up with a few observations about the tweets that really seem to grab people's attention.

"Stop supporting war. Stop being a coward in fear. Peace is the
ultimate courage. Time to be courageous, no more wars!
(from @volksmenner )

(1) Where's our moral courage?
More striking to me than anything else has been the degree to which #AfghanistanTuesday is not so much about what's happening in Afghanistan as it is about what's failing to happen here in the United States. When you see how many people retweet the tweets that call out the utter failure of the moral courage of of people here in the U.S., you realize how deep the yearning is to turn this trend around.

For instance, check out these tweets from @volksmenner and @MidwestAntiwar.

What's also surprising is the relative lack of interest in engaging with politicians and candidates, and the 2012 election. There seems to be a pretty strong feeling that politicians are not going to be the ones to get us out of this.

I think it's a good thing that people are seeing the need for every individual to step forward and actively oppose war. How can we do even more to tap this deep desire to reclaim our moral courage?

"Why is there always plenty of $ for war, never enough $ for diplomacy?
#NDAA #AfghanistanTuesday"
(from @codepink )

(2) It's all about the conversation ....
We often think of Twitter as a place to push out information -- news links, for instance -- but based on the retweet rate we can see that people are even more interested in it as a place to invite conversation.

Check out what happens, for instance, when @codepink poses a question for discussion.

What are the conversations that you would like to stimulate?

"Occupy something?How about not occupying Afghanistan?
Tomorrow: #AfghanistanTuesday"
(from @Antiwarcom )

(3) People REALLY see the "Occupy" connection
People see that the U.S. military occupation of Afghanistan (and other countries) is in sharp contrast to the activity of progressive people occupying cities across the United States and elsewhere around the world

Check out how @EvanTKelly, @amadorlicea, and @Antiwarcom put it!

And people also really respond to the truth about US non-withdrawal from Afghanistan - the "Afghanistan Forever" problem. Check out this tweet from @Antiwar2.

The exploration of this Occupy-UNoccupy coupling is a good thing for #OWS and a good thing for #AfghanistanTuesday.

"Afghanistan, Iraq Wars Killed 132,000 Civilians, Report Says
#afghanistantuesday #usdor #usdorIn
on #911 3,000 died"
(from @USDayofRageIN )

(4) People are angry about the human costs of war
By and large, the fact that the Afghanistan War -- and war in general -- is expensive does not seem to grab most people's attention. But people get really worked up about the human cost -- particularly among the civilian victims -- of war.

See what @USDayofRageIN and @Zwicky3 tweeted.

This is a topic that many, many people respond to. Perhaps that's why people also tend to respond to calls for war crimes prosecution; see, for instance this tweet from @futureup2us.

Another sign of concern about the human costs of war is the anger about the scandal of military recruiting in the United States. See, for instance, this tweet from @khaake.

"War is for the financial benefit of corporations. It is paid for,
and fought by, you and me. We aid and abet.
#ows #AfghanistanTuesday"
(from @MoralOutrage1 )

(5) "It's the military-industrial complex, stupid!"
People may not see the high cost per se as the most important thing about the Afghanistan War, but they do seem to be waking up to the enormity of the problem of the military-industrial complex, war profiteering, and the degree to which our government is subverted by the war economy.

See, for instance, this tweet from @MoralOutrage1.

Again, this is closely tied to the #OWS conversation.

"Stop the madness say no to war RT @MidwestAntiwar: help us
set up a huge RT wave to encourage #AfghanistanTuesday participation"
(from  @thereisawayjose )

(6) Conversation about the conversation
Finally, I can't help observing that people truly sense the importance of spreading the news about all the conversation itself! People want to be part of a robust conversation, and they seem to respond to requests to help pull as many people as possible into the discussion.

Check out, for instance, tweets from @thereisawayjose about expanding the #AfghanistanTuesday conversation and @codepink about getting a big turnout for the #NDAA conversation.

So there's some food for thought about how to compose "super-tweets" on #AfghanistanTuesday!

Don't just take my word for it. Check out the list of #AfghanistanTuesday top tweets for yourself. What do you think will grab people's attention?

Related posts

Here are links to the weekly collections of top #AfghanistanTuesday tweets, plus a parade of all-star tweeps, followed by some of the most popular topics, and related hashtags.

(See #AfghanistanTuesday - Top Tweets - List )

I've started to organize some of the practices I've discovered, starting with the ten "guideposts" below. I'll expand on these from time to time, and hope to spur continued conversation with all of you!

(See Twitter: Scarry's Ten Guideposts )

#AfghanistanTuesday on Twitter is starting to get traction. It's time to ask, "What -- besides awareness -- might be achieved by having everyone talking about the war in Afghanistan every week?"

(See Six Outcomes from #AfghanistanTuesday )