With more than 1,123,743 followers, the Venezuelan President is winning the PR battle
Love or hate him, there is something to talk about the Venezuelan President. Chavez has been elected three times in a row. Even though his popularity has declined, he still holds a good chance of winning the next election. This is despite of Venezuela going through one of the worst economic times; the economy shrank by almost 2 % in 2010. Venezuela has now had more than eight consecutive quarters of falling GDP. This is at the time where all the Latin American countries are growing.
We can also argue that he has become more authoritarian. He has handicapped the legislative and justice branch. He even changed the election rules to continue to hold majority. However, you have to ask yourself, what is Chavez doing right? For starters, he connects to the masses on a way than no other candidate does it. He also has mastered twitter. He has made twitter “a weapon that also needs to be used by the revolution” according to his own words. He even hired 200 people to manage his twitter account. Chavez is using twitter from solving everyday problems such as housing, jobs, healthcare to gather information on illegal trade…
According to Internet Stat today, Venezuela has 9,956,842 and a penetration rate 36% . As by time of this post, January 4th Chavez already has 1.1MM followers. This is about 10% of the of the internet user population in about 8 months. Chavez opened it account back April, 2010.
Whether we agree or not that running a country on Twitter is a way to go. Chavez has made a case for using Twitter for political propaganda, public services, and social research.