Slugger O'Toole

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Gerry Adams ‘self hacking’ his way through the Irish Twittersphere?

Fri 22 February 2013, 4:25pm

So Alan was on the View last night talking Tweets. In fact talking Gerry’s Tweets. I have to confess I’ve no particularly original thoughts to share on the matter, other than to say that if my memory serves correctly this is Gerry’s second out on the big Twitter fun ride.

It’s got him numbers, so I’m not going to knock it. I’ve always advised clients that if you are not having fun when you are doing it then you are not doing it right. 14k followers in just over a fortnight is better than Slugger in four years.

Well, then again, Gerry’s a real person (stop sniggering at the back) to a great many people both on the island and off. Authenticity matters online. If we are hearing the authentic voice of Gerry, then all I can say is good.

As Henry Jenkins notes this is a networked world. And networks are groups of belonging. People who like Gerry and what he has to say will stick around and boost his capacity to amplify.

The question of whether or not it shifts votes is moot. And as I have been saying since our first election nearly ten years it misses the point. People are not dumb, they know what and who they like. Stuff goes viral amongst well stocked networks.

Here’s Jenkins:

Talking about memes and viral media places an emphasis on the replication of the original idea, which fails to consider the everyday reality of communication — that ideas get transformed, repurposed, or distorted as they pass from hand to hand, a process which has been accelerated as we move into network culture.

I’m guessing that Adams is mining his own quirky personality to create a generative meme. Odd as two left feet it may be, but so long as he mixes it with the serious stuff, and it’s actually genuine, I suspect it will do a job of work for him.

The real test may come if and when he and his party have to deal with the distortions and trransformations…

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Comments (4)

  1. Kevsterino (profile) says:

    It appears to me that he doesn’t need Twitter to do anything for him in particular, so it is either entirely experimental or a party thing. Next we’ll have Twitterati conspiracy theorists with their teeth gnashing tweetery.

    It never ends.

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  2. Ulick (profile) says:

    Gerry is genuinely a witty self-effacing lad and will come across well on Twitter. What surprises me is that no one has picked on the arrogant corner-boy tweets that seem to be coming from the deputy FM. If someone else isn’t handling Twitter on behalf of McGuinness I’d be very disappointed, but if it is him he’d need to quit, immediately.

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  3. Sp12 (profile) says:

    Gerry’s old blog story of him riding the Stormont lift up and down a few times just to see middle aged overweight DUP MLA’s take the stairs rather than share a confined space with him made me laugh.
    It’s almost as good as the recent drunken reaction of TD’s to his suggestion the Dail bar should be closed and mandatory breathalyser spot checks be performed on returning late night law makers.

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  4. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    Not really taken much notice of Martin’s tweets, which may or may not say something about their effectiveness.

    I don’t know who does Gerry Kelly’s tweets (I hope it’s the man himself), but he’s good. He rarely engages, but he does entertain with some wry political humour.

    Kev,

    Read a great post recently from US real estate salesman who put the process of extracting value from social media more succinctly than I ever could: Connect; Engage; Make a million bucks.

    You know I’m not behind the door when it comes to criticising the dear leader, but credit where it’s due. There is value in what he’s doing, as well as the risk mentioned above.

    But make no mistake, this is real estate buddy and in this connected world it most certainly has value.

    Whether Gerry needs it or not, or ever uses it or not, is another moot point. Given they took him off air after his first ride on the great Twitter fun train, I doubt this has been entered into as lightly as you suggest.

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