The acronym TCOT has been bandied about a lot recently on the Twitter social-networking site, often in the form of the hashtag #TCOT.
For starters, the term and hashtag are references to the "Top Conservatives On Twitter." When used, as it most often is, in the hashtag form, it is a way for various Conservatives and Republicans to locate and follow the tweets of their like-minded brethren.
And the term is also a reference to an influential list of those "top Conservatives," which is maintained at this Website, TopConservativesOnTwitter.net.
The site provides an ordered rundown of the most-popular Conservative Twitter users arranged by number of followers. The list runs the gamut from top GOP politicians to key right-leaning journalists.
The No. 1 slot is occupied by former House speaker Newt Gingrich, followed by former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, radio personality Duane Patterson, Fox News host Sean Hannity, and radio host Glenn Beck.
Many Conservative members of Twitter tag their posts with #TCOT in order to ensure that folks who may be interested in their take on politics will be able to find their tweets.
Rather than having their right-wing musings, observations and news lost in the ether, Conservatives know they can up the chances that their tweets will be found by other Conservatives if they include #TCOT in their 140-character dispatches.
Google Trends reveals that the hashtag and term appear to have cropped up online sometime near the end of 2008, and that it since exploded in popularity, remaining in common use to this day.
An article in the San Francisco Gate looked further into the issue of the provenance of the #TCOT movement.
"#TCOT was founded by tea party leader Michael Patrick Leahy and quickly became a force to be reckoned with in the Twitter stream world," the article states.
And apparently there is a progressive version of #TCOT, known as #P2, which the Gate reports was created by Tweet Progress to bring progressives together on Twitter and provide an alternative the #TCOT movement.
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