Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights


“If you ask me one thing I could have done without in the last twelve months it’s social media” Jamie Bryson

Sat 4 January 2014, 8:15pm
photo by Brian O'Neill

Tweet I finally listened back to the discussion after December’s Transformative Networks – Social Media, Politics and Protests panel event at UU’s Belfast campus. The audio recording wasn’t particularly clear – a large room with everyone sitting around the edges – so at the time I didn’t upload the entire Q&A session. But some snippets […] more »

Does social media have much influence or use in NI politics or protests? #nisocialpol

Tue 10 December 2013, 11:15pm

Tweet Researchers Orna Young and Jonny Byrne hosted a panel discussion in the University of Ulster this morning on Transformative Networks – Social Media, Politics and Protests. A panel gave their thoughts and afterwards there was a discussion. In the first part you’ll hear Orna Young introduce the event, followed by Alan Meban and Dave […] more »

The easy misogyny of recent Twitter outbursts is disturbing, but…

Tue 20 August 2013, 10:11am

Tweet Paul Mason’s disillusion with Twitter (and Facebook) is palpable. The reason? They are becoming sodden with trolls. A CNBC documentary claimed 70% of Twitter users check their timeline within three minutes of waking up. This, in my household, would be considered slow. Among journalists Twitter has replaced “the wires”: all you have to do is […] more »

‘Dead tree’ columnist stereotypes bloggers as “articulate, intelligent … socially awkward misfits with zero personality”

Thu 8 August 2013, 10:00am
irish news banner

Tweet Allison Morris’ column in Wednesday’s Irish News [paywall] starts with the observation that Twitter and Facebook now give “misogynists, racists, bigots, stalkers and lunatics … a potential global audience”, before taking a pop at bloggers who last got lightly toasted in her February 2012 column. Bloggers and those with a large ‘online presence’ can […] more »

TDs that tweet – who, when and how

Tue 30 July 2013, 3:00pm

Tweet 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 […] more »

MPs with a slim majority are more likely to tweet: crunching numbers of tweeting elected representatives

Mon 29 July 2013, 10:05pm

Tweet Democratic Audit UK today posted a summary of results of research by James Donald who has been looking at the tweeting characteristics of Westminster MPs. It made me wonder about our local politicians. But first, the highlights from the UK-wide findings. Nearly 63% of MPs (408) had Twitter accounts in January 2013, while 37% […] more »

Tweet like a politician … ideally, thinking about how it’ll be read and misread

Sun 14 April 2013, 9:55pm
Conall McDevitt tweet David Vance reply

Tweet Tools like Twitter and Facebook can make a politician into a one person media outlet, broadcasting what they hear, see and think without the mediation of the traditional broadcast and print media. Gone are the days of being off-the-record and silent until a reporter turns up to note your words. Politicians can be online […] more »

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

Fri 22 February 2013, 4:25pm

Tweet 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, […] more »

Caption Competition

Fri 22 February 2013, 1:52am
Gerry and Ted

Tweet Let’s see the captions! more »

Blessed are the newsbreakers; but which ones can you trust in the age of Twitter?

Mon 12 November 2012, 3:13pm

Tweet There’s a number of great pieces online about where new authority is emerging to challenge the older models, particularly in the wake of the US election and superstorm Sandy. Forbes had this to say in response to a mainstream anchor thanking people for ‘helping out’: News flash for my local news anchors: the “amateurs” […] more »

Social media is about social agency, not ‘just’ gossip, entertainment or power…

Sat 31 March 2012, 9:10am

Tweet If you didn’t hear it, it is still very much worth listening to this week’s moral maze programme on BBC Radio Four… The whole thing is worth listening to (even Michael Buerk’s introduction, which almost visibly drips with contempt)… Padraig Reidy from Index On Censorship, probably came as close as any of the respondents […] more »

Doctored twitter, Toolooz and RTÉ

Thu 29 March 2012, 1:21pm
A Forgery

Tweet Awfully grateful for thoughts about a little piece I did for yesterday’s Irish Independent. I quote Mick (and draw on this earlier post on Slugger), mention McGuinness4Pres, Toolooz, drunken taoisigh, and ArmA II, and make three jokes. I’m very grateful for your thoughts, as ever! more »

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, It Will Be On The Internet

Fri 13 January 2012, 10:04am

Tweet I walk past the Occupy Belfast protesters opposite St. Anne’s Cathedral nearly every day. It would be easy to sneer at them. They have some rather nice tents out of Decathlon, that well known bastion of anti-capitalism, and they seem to have a lot of fun. Not only are they not occupying anything more […] more »

Politicians and Twitter: “It gives me great pleasure…” “No it doesnae…”

Sat 12 November 2011, 8:47pm

Tweet I like this piece from Aine Kerr on Storyful… It’s a timely kick at those MPs who routinely get crossed off the list of anyone who has better things to do with their Twitter accounts than read glib statements of the, erm, ‘bleedin obvious’…  In particular, the YouTube clip at the beginning… It’s worth […] more »

Bogus Twitter accounts, plausible deniability, and the use of unqualified leads…

Mon 31 October 2011, 11:38am

Tweet As Chris notes, no one in current Sinn Fein will cry any tears over the way the Irish media tripped over itself to gobble up the fake story of Sean Gallagher and the cheque that never was… Update: It seems that the @Martin4Prez2011 (official) & @McGuinness4Pres (bogus) were born on the same day. But, […] more »

Stay classy, Carál…

Wed 21 September 2011, 8:05pm

Tweet Good heavens!  You’re the culture minister…  UTV has the censored version.  And here’s the other half of the “satirical exchange”. more »

Twitter v #NOTW: the growing power of social media?

Wed 6 July 2011, 12:27pm

Tweet Over on the BBC, Rory Cellan-Jones has some background on an interesting aspect of the News of the World story. For a while now, traditional news outlets have been in competition (of sorts) with social media to feed a developed appetite for rolling news. However, as Cellan-Jones has flagged, this story appears to be bringing the print and […] more »

Social Media and the Assembly Election

Wed 4 May 2011, 11:18am

Tweet A number of people have referred to this week’s Assembly Election as the “Twitter Election”. This can be looked at in a number of ways: the number of politicians and parties on Twitter/Facebook, the number of journalists now using social media, as well as members of the public discussing politics and election through these […] more »

Tweeting Fishy Minister makes it a Twitter election after all?

Sun 1 May 2011, 5:04pm
Koi Carp - photo from

Tweet I’m not sure that the scales fell from the DUP leader’s eyes, but when Peter Robinson fell into his fish pond this afternoon, it certainly gave us all a laugh. And by the string of tweets that followed, his iPhone wasn’t in his pocket when he slipped. 1) The Good Lord punishes any desecration […] more »

Take that (Mulley makes a bad call?)

Sat 2 April 2011, 10:58pm

Tweet As the north of Ireland’s twitterati attempt to trend #notinmyname the undisputed king of Irish social media says: Ah yes, a hashtag on twitter, take that Omagh murderers more »

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