Members of the Twittering classes…

WITH the addition of Simon Hamilton yesterday, there are now two Twitterers in the Assembly, the other being the PUP leader Dawn Purvis. I’ve recently signed up for the free service, after hearing Stephen Fry and Jonathan Ross witter on about it. Perhaps that makes me a Twit?! Anyway, it could turn out to be a handy service for breaking news; for example DUPonline has just posted that Nelson McCausland has been chucked out of the Stormont chamber.

UPDATE: I seem to have been inadvertantly responsible for getting the first Sinn Fein Assembly member on Twitter.

  • Carson’s Cat

    Going by the comments posted on Twitter the issue seems to be that Nelson McCausland was asked to leave because of comments he made about Gerry Adams’ past (presumably some kind of IRA allegation).

    You’d have to wonder why a unionist MLA would see prevention of those comments being made as a good thing!

    Dawn Purvis apprently does….

    http://twitter.com/dawnpurvis

  • I was just tweeting this morning about Sammy Wilson…..

    http://twitter.com/ManuelTheWaiter

  • The McCausland thing is already on the BBC news site. Oh, and they give you more than 100 words, or whatever, so it’s probably better to look there!

  • Carson’s Cat

    Horseman,
    Going by the timings posted on each of the two sites it would appear that the DUP update was online at least 20 mins before the BBC.

    I’m fairly twitter agnostic, but I certainly wouldn’t get too uptight if someone wants to post something there or not.

    Perhaps its more the source than the contents which annoys you so much. Much easier to believe those backwards unionists still view electricity with suspicion nevermind the interweb isn’t it…..

  • Carson’s Cat,

    I’m fairly twitter agnostic, but I certainly wouldn’t get too uptight if someone wants to post something there or not.

    Me neither, but I had a look at some of the ‘twitterings’ on various sites (DUP, Gonzo, etc) and to be honest they are really too brief to be of any interest. If you’re just looking for a football score (i.e. short precise data) then twitter might be useful, but for anything more complex it is sorely inadequate.

    Perhaps its more the source than the contents …

    Huh? I don’t care about sources, as long as the facts are there. Please don’t try to project your prejudices onto me!

  • Carson’s Cat

    “they are really too brief to be of any interest.”

    Well they have to be brief. You seem to be limited to about the length of a text message. Maybe they’re not perfect but surely a politician having to be succinct enough to say something in one sentence is a good thing.

    After all, they’re always being told that they talk too much and waffle on….

  • Carson’s Cat

    Horseman
    “lease don’t try to project your prejudices onto me!”

    I’m happy to let your website fully portray your prejudices!

  • Carson’s Cat,

    Glad to know you’re a reader!

    You’ll notice that I happily quote from, and link to, all of the unionist parties, and the unionist media. I’m an equal opportunities anti-unionist!

    😉

  • https://twitter.com/daithimckay

    Have been meaning to do this for a while now! Very easy to use although still trying to set it up on the mobile phone..

  • Me neither, but I had a look at some of the ‘twitterings’ on various sites (DUP, Gonzo, etc) and to be honest they are really too brief to be of any interest

    Check your blog stats Horseman, what % of your readers are on for less than 1 minute? Round about or more than 50%? The unpalatable truth for those who spend too much time pumping out our political works of art is that the clear majority reading only want a clip of news and possibly your own very brief interpretation wrapped up in a soundbite- the 10,000 word screeds may be very satisfying for you to write, but if no one’s taking the time to read beyond the first paragraph, what’s the point?

    Still trying to work out how best to use Twitter as a political tool myself, at the moment having too much fun posting up football resignations and rumours;)

  • There seems to have been a marked increase in the uptake of Twitter in Northern Ireland in the past few weeks. Maybe it’s the result of word of mouth, or maybe it’s just part of the wider increase in its popularity in general- UK traffic to Twitter has increased 10-fold over the past year.

  • oneill,

    Still trying to work out how best to use Twitter as a political tool myself …

    I’ll be interested to see if you succeed, but I seriously doubt if you will. A tool that allows you what … 140 characters? … cannot ever be more than the equivalent of a headline or a slogan. Analysis, background, context, references, links … all will be absent. You might appeal to a very superficial reader, but is that really your market? I know it’s not mine.

  • Horseman,

    It won’t replace indepth analysis for those who want it, but analysis is, by its very definition, not immediate. Labour’s New Media Dept on Friday gave a perfect example of how not,/strong> to use it by flooding Twitter with rather idiotic comments against a prominent Tory blogger, but what that episode also showed me is the potential- a short, sharp message can be got out very quickly to a very large amount of people. Just need to work on that message!

  • daisy

    “I’ll be interested to see if you succeed, but I seriously doubt if you will. A tool that allows you what … 140 characters? … cannot ever be more than the equivalent of a headline or a slogan.”

    Sometimes that’s all you need – I just learned about a planning app from Daithi’s twitterings.

  • oneill,

    (Because I’m too lazy/busy to go and find out for myself, but reckon you’ve alredy done the homework)

    How does the message get to this “very large amount of people“? Do they have to have signed up for your specific feed? And how is the message delivered to them? E-mail, SMS, what? Or do they have to go to your web site/twitter site to see the message? If it’s the latter, I think it is not worth doing – for ‘instant’ news I would tend to go to a professional news site, I’d never think of going to a narrow-interest site.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    If you ‘follow’ the various news and media groups on Twitter, the site is virtually a news feed. Most of their posts contain TinyURLs to the main story.

    Very, very useful.

  • How does the message get to this ”very large amount of people”? Do they have to have signed up for your specific feed?

    Basically and I’m not quite sure why, but there’s folk signing up to mine without me doing any real “marketing” (other than advertising it on my blog). But to go back to the example I used earlier; what Derek Draper, head of Labour’s Modern Media Response Unit (or some similar Orwellian title) did in Friday was basically to “follow” everyone who was “following” a prominent Tory blogger- of course people were curious why and “follow”ed him in return and that’s when he made the mistake of posting a whole lot of rubbish. As I said, wrong way to go about it, but very quickly he was able to send a message to the kind of audience that would have taken much longer to reach via a blog.