More on Downing Street on Twitter this lunchtime, Very friendly, would like to have a name behind the address please and I suppose my feedback would be that until we know who you are we don’t really know how to relate to you.
There has been loads of blog other suggestions since the Downing Tweet Twitter feed appeared last Thursday.
Here on Podnosh we were asking if this was anything special and what the social web might mean for politics and patronage, as we all potentially dance the merry dance of getting digitally close to those in power.
Simon Collister puts us social media enthusiasts in our place by reminding us that:
I spoke to a client’s government relations manager recently about how he communicates with MPs and Peers. His reply was: “Mostly by phone or letter…. Although some are starting to now use email.”
Emma Mulqueeny is a twitter fan and summarises why it does and doesn’t work:
Twitter rocks – but only if you use the Internet to communicate: email, Facebook, blogs etc. If you don’t it is as pointless as setting up an email account and not telling anyone about it… nothing will happen. My personal use of Twitter has been to share experiences and validate thoughts.
Is “Downing Street” interested in using Twitter to “validate thoughts”. The business of using it to ask questions assumes you need to know answers. So what sort of questions could the Prime Ministers Office ask on twitter? Would it be “How quickly should we get out of Iraq?” or “Purple or Red Tie for PMQ’s”. Most of my Twitter friends use it for both.
Techprogressive (Hello, do you have a name?) offers this sound advice:
be less boring. And be more human. Twitter’s a new form of media — use it that way. Post observations, insights people wouldn’t see in press reports, jokes, reactions to news.
Twitter is about forming relationships with your followers, so it doesn’t work if those doing the tweeting just come off sounding like public relations bots
Nils at NDNL echoes all these suggestions and expands on them a touch:
So, @DowningStreet, tell us who you are and keep things worth our while. Know we’re a different audience. Make sure any “news” you push our way has that sense of immediacy we’ve come to know and love over at Twitter.
If you, and others, keep that in mind, get personal with us (can you?) I suppose this will work. If not, the unfollows will hit you harder than you’d held possible and the, essentially great, idea will founder.
Meanwhile our own Brummie web news guru Paul Bradshaw offers a techie slap on the back over at Poynter:
so far their feed mostly offers a kind of Twitter shovelware using Twitterfeed. But that’s not bad in itself. Actually, I think it shows a higher level of tech savviness than simply twittering.
So I’d like to sum this all up into “Hello my name is Nick: what’s yours?”