UPDATE : A lot of responses to the list published by Iain Dale since I did this. Not least the one at Political Scrapbook which takes a different way of assessing the ‘top’ twitterers (I prefer ‘tweeters’ by the way) – which is to use Tweetlevel which is a service which works out a score based on followers, RT’s, replies – etc, etc.
Clearly a little more sensible than Iain Dale’s approach, but what @PSbook didn’t fully take into account was who was Labour and who wasn’t – and so rapidly updated the chart when Tweeters like myself sent their scores in.
According to the list I’m now 13th = (in actuality 23rd) – ahead of notable Labour tweeters, Like Will Straw, Sunder Katwala, Sally Bercow, Sion Simon – to name but a few.
Well – it’s flattering – but it’s not true ! – and I think underlines the pointlessness of Twitter “charts” – but thanks anyway !
I read on the celebrated tory Iain Dale’s Diary blog this morning, his list of the Top 20 Conservative and Labour tweeters, (with a link to the Lib Dems’ top 20 – mustn’t give them a place on the top table now must we ?)
Now Iain of all people surely knows his way around the internet / blogosphere / twittersphere – call it what you will – so why is he with bothering with such a silly list ?
To put tweeters in rank order, based on number of followers seems to totally miss the point of the interactivity of both Twitter and blogging.
The influence that a particular tweeter – or even an individual tweet – exerts on the masses is related to how many people follow them – but is not wholly dependent on it. Neither do most “grass roots” Labour tweeters – and to be honest Tory, Lib Dem, & whoever else – really give a monkey’s about who has the most followers – the influence which Twitter wields is in the mass interaction – the Re-Tweets, the replies – the sense of community, and the propagation of ideas quickly among large numbers of people. It’s about bringing to attention the small individual blogs, on a par with the large institutional blogs on an equal footing – it’s just not about numbers. The total is so much greater than the sum of the parts.
Iain has for example clearly missed out one important parliamentary tweeter with over 40,000 followers – which would make them the third “top” political tweeter after Sarah Brown and Boris Johnson – but in my ever so humble (I only have 400 followers) opinion, not especially relevant in terms of influence (although I’m open to persuasion).
Iain in the same article also opines that Labour’s Twitter presence is more ‘party machine’ than ‘grass roots’ activists, in comparison with the Tories, by virtue of the fact that “Twelve out of the Top 20 Labour tweeters are in the party machine, compared with 11 Tories.”
Yes. Right. Well that’s the whole point – that’s how they are connecting with the grass roots.
Some people just don’t get Twitter !
Been finding it hard to get time to update lately, so I’m a bit behind the times on this – here goes …
I just have to mention that on Friday 4th December I was privileged to attend the Downing Tweet Christmas Party held at No 10 Downing Tweet, and that was the name of the street – if you don’t believe me look at the picture.
The event was held by Sarah Brown – wife of our Prime Minister Gordon Brown, in aid of the Million Mums Charity – which can be found here : Million Mums and which is in turn part of the White Ribbon Alliance for safe motherhood – which campaigns to prevent mothers dying in childbirth and pregnancy.
The people there were all loosely related by the fact that they use Twitter to try to change the world – and there were some diverse people there – from @orangutans – who runs the Orangutan Land Trust , to singer @BeverleyKnight – well known on Twitter, and for her work with Christian Aid , the Stop AIDS Campaign and The Terrence Higgins Trust . Beverley brought the house down with performances of ‘Shoulda Woulda Coulda” and “Gold”.
Many other celebrities there as well but personally I (and I’d say most of the people there) were rather more excited to meet some of the political bloggers and tweeters that we feel that we know already but in fact have never met. And they were there in abundance. ( Apologies to anyone I miss out on ) The Fabian’s & Next Left’s Sunder Katwala (@nextleft); the Twitter Tsar & Labour Whip Kerry McCarthy MP (@KerryMP), the stillettoed socialist and scourge of the right Ellie Gellard (@BevaniteEllie), blogger & feminist Grace Fletcher-Hackwood (@msgracefh), Labourlist editor Alex Smith (@alexsmith1982) to name but a small few of the crowd that were there.
Whilst to be honest, I was rather like a kid on Christmas morning, just being in and around No. 10, and would have loved it even if I’d stood in a corner with no one speaking to me all night, in fact it wasn’t like that at all.
The atmosphere was very friendly, not least because most of the people there “Twitter-knew” each other, even though they didn’t know each other too well in real life. This makes for some easy and relaxed conversation – and for me is evidence of the power that Twitter – and related new media – can provide.
Well that’s about all I’m going to say – it was brilliant – Thanks Sarah Brown for inviting me, Thanks Kerry McCarthy for putting my name forward. Oh and did I mention I met Gordon Brown ? Well I did !
Don’t forget to visit the Million Mums website.