January 26, 2010

For all the chat about twitter, and how its going to change the face of the election etc, I remain unconvinced.

A hundred thousand people following labour MPs and the like really isn’t going to matter. Subtract from that journalists, civil servants, charities etc, divide the number over the whole of the country and how many people do you actually have in a given marginal? Given that most of them are Stephen Fry, using another account, pretending he’s fallen out with the thing again.

Its honestly not that many people. Sure, you can compare it to newspapers. But the articles in newspapers are in significantly more depth, and not 140 character trickles in a sea of similar drips. Say you have 100 labour MPs. Less than 100,000 followers is not a lot for self professed celebrities, who feel twitter is useful to people. It means about a thousand each. I wager there are many people who aren’t celebrities who have around ~1,000 facebook friends.  700-800 is not unusual. Its really not a great achievement for people whose job is representing people.

Twitter is the true representation of the Westminister Village on the Web. It is simply journalists talking to journalists – no wonder the thing is left wing, half of them are employed by the bbc.

I would like Labour to win the next election (or at very least I would prefer it) but I don’t think twitter will make the difference. Its only asset is that it can seize the media narrative. If you are a journalist turning up to work, deciding in the end not to work, checking your email, your facebook, etc and you find something happening on twitter, well, why not make a story out of it from the convenience of your desk? #welovenhs may have been a big hit on twitter but it failed to dent the polls.

Sooner or later people will get fed up with all this lazy twitter chat. Its just not relevant to people.

But this blogpost is totally relevant 😉


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