THE debate over the importance of Twitter and other social networking sites in the coming elections, held at City University, continues to cause ripples. Andrew Marshall, the Conservative group leader in Camden, reminds me that he personally hasn’t just been tweeting a jumble of comments and web links in the hope that residents will see them and think he’s a good egg.
He says he spots potentially negative comments about the council’s performance left on Twitter and tries to proactively see what went wrong and sort out a happy resolution. The repetitive buzzword here is: engagement. It follows what Rupa Huq, the Labour blogger, said in the lecture hall on Tuesday, that if you did not read and respond to online reaction you are “missing the point”.
After hearing BBC man Nick Robinson say he did not ‘waste time’ reading comments left on his blog because they were often critical, she added: “Surely he should be more thicked-skinned than that and supposedly the whole point of blogging is that it is a two way communication?”
But what will happen if the number of regular Twitter users and bloggers continue to grow. That would cause a natural inflation in the number of people grumbling about Camden Council – rightly or wrongly. Surely, to keep up his proactive bud-nipping online, Andrew will need others to help go with him on this. Otherwise, his casework could become overrun with tweet grievances.
* City University have posted the film of Tuesday’s lecture online. CLICK HERE.
* Previous post: TWEET AND SEE March 3