TDs that tweet – who, when and how

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In an unexpected follow-up to last night’s post about tweeting MPs and MLAs

When they’re not in the Dáil or attending wake houses working on constituency issues, many TDs are busy twiddling their thumbs tweeting. Earlier today Eamonn Bell published an infographic that summarises the messaging habits of TDs.

Eamonn’s number crunching (at the bottom of the infographic) goes beyond mere adoption figures and points to how TDs are exploiting the service (levels of retweets and use of hashtags) and indicating moments when TDs have collectively gone into overdrive with their tweets (around the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill debates and the white smoke rising above the Sistine Chapel to announce the election of Pope Francis).

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As I suggested yesterday – and others backed up with their comments and tweets – the fact of a politician ‘having’ an account signifies very little about a politician’s intelligent use of Twitter. But Eamonn’s work is a good example of how large datasets can be brought to life to start to explore the stories they may contain.

Eamonn Bell’s infographic used under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported licence.

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  • John Ó Néill

    Someone ran some stats and blogged on the performance of candidates in #GE11 and suggested that a twitter account was worth a certain number of additional votes (250 sticks in my head). I can’t find it now to check it out, though.