Local Twitter Queen offers political views on a national platform

Nan Malin

SEAVIEW - Nansen Malin, a native of St. Helens, Ore., residing in a quiet turn-of-the-century home tucked away in Seaview, got a call from CBS in New York the week before President Obama's State of the Union Address.

Malin was asked if she would be willing to be part of the live news feed on a special CBS program that would be broadcast during the President's speech.

The following day she received a call from the National Association of Editorial Writers and was asked to be present in an online chat room being sponsored by the Seattle Times.

"CBS called and explained what they wanted and I was honored to be asked to participate," says Malin. "They said they had reviewed my tweets from the last couple years and liked what they saw."

"Then I got a call from the National Association of Editorial Writers and asked to be in their live online Seattle Times chat room," she continues. "It was very exciting."

What does this all mean?

It means that we have the Twitter Queen living in our midst.

Social Networking For those of you who have not yet ventured into the digital world, we are talking about Internet sites like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and others that provide a software platform for connecting people and broadcasting micro-messages to one's network of friends or followers.

A 'tweet' is a message of 140 characters or less that is sent out on the Internet to all those who are also online and have linked themselves to you.

Malin has nearly 193,000 followers on her Twitter account - Nansen - and is the most followed Republican on Twitter in the world. This number is always growing as Malin's notoriety expands.

"I'm still getting reactions to my tweets from the night of the SOTU," she says.

SOTU is the acronym for state of the union and, in the digital world is called a "hashtag," something that identifies the subject of your tweet. The hashtag for the President's address would actually look like this: #SOTU.

A hashtag can be used to search the web or any of the various social networking sites to find up-to-the-second information about whatever is a hot topic with a large group of people right now. It could be the latest 24 episode; the Grammy awards; or reactions to Avatar.

Left, Right and Center "I am an independent thinker," says Malin. "I have my own opinions and I'm not afraid to disagree with the left or the right."

Malin is vice president of the board for Sea Resources in Chinook, the oldest hatchery in the state, and is a passionate environmentalist, particularly when it comes to salmon or the Seaview dunes.

Additionally, she is business partner with husband Brett of MR Data Corp. Inc. (www.mrdatacorp.com/) so she is an insider when it comes to technology.

Malin represents an eclectic mix of political views and projects a clear and reasoned voice in a world that seems to be taken over by shrill partisan politics.

"CBS said they liked my tweets because I never use swear words," she laughed.

"My father doesn't share my political beliefs," she continues. "He lives in Portland and is very left leaning."

"But after the television feed, at least now he says, 'Well, I understand a little better what you're trying to do,'" she adds.

#SOTU Malin was asked to participate with a few selected others to have her 'tweets' broadcast across the bottom of the television screen on the news-feed live during the President's address.

She was also chatting live online with others in a chat room sponsored by the Seattle Times which included news streams to the Kansas City Star, and some Florida newspapers. Malin's Democratic counterpart was Dow Constantine.

"I did a lot of research in preparation for the speech," she says. "I was ready to tweet smartly with lots of relevant links, but once it started it all happened so fast."

On the evening of the SOTU, Malin had two televisions set-up, just in case one malfunctioned. She augmented her own laptop with a second work computer.

"And then I had Brett bring his computer down too," she says. "And some people also texted ideas to me on my cell phone."

All the Information, All the Time "There was a pre-show on CBS before the speech started," Malin explains, "then after the speech Katie Couric did some analysis."

"They kept the live feed running through all this on their CBS Web site portal."

"At one point Twitter had a glitch because there were so many people on the site," she continues. "They got overloaded and backed up."

The ability to access up-to-the-second information online posted by citizen journalists is revolutionizing all types of communications media - newspapers, magazines, music and books.

E-mail, text messaging between cell phones, and social networking sites provide new means of sharing digital information.

Malin is one of the early adopters of the technology and has jumped into the fray with enthusiasm.

The bottom line? - "It was really fun," she concludes.

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