Eight Observations About How I Use Twitter

1. MY TWITTER BACKGROUND

I joined Twitter in April 2008 – thanks @RicRaftis. Like most people, I didn’t know what to do with it and for several months I barely went near it. When I did, I tweeted about technology and the internet.

TwitterThen I started tweeting about Australian and American politics. Later in the year, I began tweeting Question Time, political speeches, press conferences and other media appearances by politicians.

At the time, as far as I knew, no-one else was doing this. Most media people were yet to discover Twitter. Politicians were all but unseen. I often felt I was talking to myself.

Around this time, I began to make contact with people besides PR, marketing and internet types. Bloggers with an interest in politics were flocking to Twitter, as were many others.

The big moment came in March 2009 when I tweeted the Queensland election results. I simply sat at my desk at home with the Queensland Electoral Commission website open and the ABC’s Queensland television feed streaming online. Hundreds of new followers came my way that night and I ended up on commercial radio commenting on the results. It opened my eyes to Twitter’s potential.

I decided I needed a consistent approach so I stopped tweeting about technology and internet issues and made politics my focus. I noticed that Twitter was driving traffic to my main website, AustralianPolitics.com.

By mid-2009, my current approach to Twitter was firmly established. Each night when I sat down to read the next morning’s newspapers online, a ritual I’d followed for years, I would tweet links and occasional comments to articles I thought were worth reading for one reason or another. I was curating content. [Read more…]




Pollie Wants To Twitter?

If Hugo Chavez can establish a special office with 200 staff to handle requests from his followers on Twitter, perhaps it’s time that Australian MPs got with the program.

Pollie Wants to Twitter?Estimates vary as to how many Australian politicians have Twitter accounts but it appears to be less than a quarter of the federal parliament.

This contrasts with the hundreds of US members of Congress who “tweet”. In Washington, they even have a bipartisan Congressional Internet Caucus to educate themselves about “the promise and potential” of the Internet.

Recently, NSW Premier Kristina Keneally – @KKeneally – has emerged as one of the more engaging tweeters. She responds to messages and does not limit herself to broadcasting lines of the day. Her opponent, @BarryOfarrell, is a similarly engaging member of the twitterati. Elsewhere, @PremierMikeRann is somewhat prolific. [Read more…]