2012 conventions embrace social media openness

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Democrats and Republicans are using social media to turn their national conventions away from the smoke-filled rooms and into meetings where anyone who wants to get involved is just a click away.

Leaders in both parties promise this year's conventions will be the most open in history. Democrats will not just show prime-time speeches live on the Internet, but will also stream caucus meetings and the council discussions of the party's platform over the Web.

Republicans have hired a full-time blogger and a full-time digital communications manager to do nothing but engage people online.

Social media was just in its infancy in 2008. Twitter says the number tweets sent on its site on Election Day 2008 is equal to about six minutes worth of tweets today.

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