Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Getting Noticed

If you are a fringe political movement or campaign, and when I say fringe I mean non-electoral, perhaps no more than a few people, the challenge is gaining any sort of coverage for the campaign. Basically apart from the few people within and around the members no-one knows who you are, what you are about, or that the campaign/movement exists. Well there seems one way that is frequently employed, use Twitter. The basic idea is simple, as anyone with a PC and Internet access can have a Twitter account then it offers a level playing field. You can then search within Twitter for those interested in, for example, politics/environmentalism, or at least you can find people posting on those issues. Once located you choose follow to as many people as you can, this can be done randomly but it is less scientific. Now, if you are the campaign you do not necessarily wish to hear from all of those people you are following, but the hope is that following is reciprocal. That when someone gets an email alert to say, for example, Prevent Nuclear War is now following you, you will go to your account, look at their profile and follow them in return. According to Twitterfacts, there are currently around 340,000 users and on average 2000 new accounts are created each day, Neville Hobson estimates there were 750,000 members in January 2008, Twitterfacts predicts a million in April 2008 possibly 2 million by the end of the year; whatever the reality that is quite a reach for a campaigner with a PC, compared to the days of street leafleting it is massive. Equally, as the graph just of Belgian Twitter users shows, it is about networking; so if you can get a follower within a network you may gain others as messages are forwarded and re-posted. Who knows if it leads to greater interest, support or sign-ups; no-one yet I imagine! But it is one further way that social media and the interconnectedness facilitated by Web 2.0 allows a more level political playing field and accelerates the pluralism of ideas and arguments, nice to finish on an idealistic note every now and again - go on shoot me down!


Jake said...

I agree twitter has loads of potential, I have sold four Reading fest tickets, got 55 signatories to a petition and i havent tried yet, that was just lettign friends no and providing a url link. Cool stuff, who needs to search ebay when you bring the sale items to the buyer :-)

Alfredo Ascanio Guevara said...

Today I wrote a note in the newspaper of South Korea (OhmyNews) on the use of Twitter by politicians.

The link:

Thank you your blog is very interesting