Blog #2: President Trump and and Twitter

So far our progress has been focused primarily on research around what legislation currently exists in regards to recordation of presidential documents. A significant amount of the focus has been around the Presidential Records Act, which is the primary legislation regarding documentation of the president’s communications. We have also started to move into research surrounding Twitter as an electronic communication medium, which has different protocols, accessibility, and reach than the more traditional presidential communications methods such as radio or television appearances. The biggest problem that we have encountered is that the majority of research or work done that explicitly pertains to this topic is not scholarly, but more online opinion pieces based on some facts. Our research has had to have a broader scope to take into consideration all of the different factors that play into presidential records of social media posts. With that in mind, it can sometimes feel that I am drowning in information that’s not directly relevant to the paper, but with the broader vision of what this piece is trying to address and how multifaceted it is, it becomes easier to recognize the value in each bit of research.

Communication with Dr. Magaldi has been fantastic. She is very quick to respond to my inquiries and often reaches out to me with feedback and foresight so that I am always on top of what should be edited or prepared for. Because Dr. Magaldi is so knowledgeable and has more experience than me in both the law and academic writing, it can at times be intimidating to have such an expert on my team, but it is also incredibly reassuring to know that I can turn to her for guidance and support. Initially my ideas for what this paper would address were vague and I feared getting bogged down in the content of President Trump’s tweets because it can feel impossible to know where to start with them. Dr. Magaldi reassured me that there are approaches we can take that do not have a central focus on the Twitter content, but instead focus on the bigger behaviors and patterns President Trump has created for himself on Twitter, so a significant amount of research has gone into both content analysis of the tweets and also understanding President Trump’s Twitter usage on a broader scale. We are planning to continue our current research path, and will soon begin looking at the ways Trump’s Twitter usage differs from President Obama’s.

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