Tag Archives: MPs

MP Blogs

19 Aug

Total Politics has published a list of the Top 30 MP Blogs and it is well worth a look. I think it is interesting that two leading Labour new media strategists Kerry McCarthy MP, who was just made Labour’s New Media Tsar and Tom Watson MP only come in as 5 and 6 respectively.

According to Total Politics, this is the result of more than 1,500 people who voted in the Total Politics Annual Blog Poll during the second half of July.

1 (2) Tom Harris LA
2 (1) John Redwood CO
3 (12) Douglas Carswell CO
4 (4) Nadine Dorries CO
5 (8) Kerry McCarthy LA
6 (3) Tom Watson LA
7 (6) Adam Price PC
8 (5) Lynne Featherstone LD
9 (10) David Jones CO
10 (11) Paul Flynn LA
11 Willie Rennie LD
12 Frank Field LA
13 (7) John McDonnell LA
14 David Miliband LA
15 John Hemming LD
16 Richard Spring CO
17 (18) Steve Webb LD
18 Nick Clegg LD
19 Michael Meacher LA
20 (9) Jeremy Hunt CO
21 (16) Austin Mitchell LA
22 John Barrett LD
23 Andy Reed LA
24 (17) Sadiq Khan LA
25 (20) Adrian Sanders LD
26 Andrew Gwynne LA
27 (14) Ed Vaizey CO
28 Andy Love LA
29 Oliver Heald CO
30 Richard Benyon CO

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Civil Servants to come out of the digital shadows

28 Jul

Civil servants come out from the shadows

The Government has published its Template Twitter Strategy for Government Departments (even more impressively, it is available for download on a Scribd page), suggesting to civil servants to begin tweeting and explaining how to do it, with the ultimate aim of improving public engagment.

The document is a really interesting, well put-together twitter template. It sets out pros and cons, twitter stats, a glossary and a reasonably significant list of influential twitter uses including journos, departments, MPs. It also has devised twitter objectives and metrics, which I’m sure will spur plenty of debate amongst bloggers and tweeters.

Written by Neil Williams (a.k.a @neillyneil), a self admitted “Web strategy geek at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills,” the document advises civil servants, particularly those from the digital comms teams, to tweet on departmental campaigns, news releases, ministerial announcements, highlighting content on other social media platforms such as YouTube and even asking and answering questions.

Amazingly, this all means that civil servants will be crawling out of the shadows of Whitehall and will have a face, albeit a digital one. By encouraging interaction, there will be a transparency and two-way communication that, possibly, has never existed in Whitehall before.

Tom Watson MP, the first blogging Parliamentarian and avid social media nut, was also on the Today programme on Radio 4, spruiking the benefits of social media and, in particular Twitter, as a method of communication and interaction.

Tom Watson also made the point that many old mandarins still get their secretaries to print out the mandarin’s emails for review.

MPs are similar; we are currently surveying Parliamentarians and politicos about the use of twitter in Westminster. There are indeed MPs like Tom Watson, who was among a number of MPs on the Independent’s list of influential parliamentarian twitter, who are actively involved on the blogosphere and many of those listed have actively participated in our survey. But the truth is many still don’t get it and don’t see the point.

But surely, strategies like this show that social media has been adopted by the main stream and the idea that social media is just for kids, computer geeks and a small sector of society is no longer true. The powers that be have recognised the revolution will be digitalised and they have no choice but to get on board.

If you are interested in this issue and you would like to take our survey on the use of twitter in Westminster and Whitehall, we would more than appreciate your comments. http://bit.ly/10sf8B

Cross-posted with the Ruder Finn Dot Comms blog

British MPs start to communicate

7 Jul
John Prescott's twitter page

John Prescott's twitter page

I was just pointed to a really interesting gallery on The Independent’s website titled Twitter’s speedy move to the centre of politics. The gallery is compiled with the help from the team at Tweetminister, which is a really useful resource that lists all tweeting MPs and Prospective Parliamentary Candidates (PPCs).

What I really find interesting about it and is obviously the point of the gallery, is the evolution of twitter use by Parliamentarians. Initially, when I first joined twitter around 18 months ago, I think there were only one, maybe two MPs tweeting. Now according to the Independent, there are at least 66 MPs tweeting – 10% of the Commons. What’s even more exciting is that the vast majority of those MPs are active tweeters. Sure you have MPs such as @HarrietHarman who hasn’t tweeted since May and there is Shahid Malik (@DewsburyMP) who has never posted, but you also have avid users such as Kerry McCarthy [Lab] – Bristol East with 2623 updates, Jo Swinson [LD] – East Dunbartonshire with 1503 and of course Tom Watson [Lab] – West Bromwich East with 2368. There are apparently also 13 Ministers tweeting away.

Some MPs have even got so involved they have tinted their profiles green in support of the Iranian protestors. This may be a slightly questionable in terms of foreign policy decisions, but the fact is these MPs actively involved in the political social media revolution.

Most surprisingly, possibly in the majority of cases, it is actually them tweeting and not a researcher hidden away in Portcullis house as proven by @JoSwinson who tweets from the Chamber. And they reply if you contact them.

So the moral here is that there is a growing awareness of the power of twitter and social media in Westminster and this is surely going to grow. Twitter, facebook and other tools are becoming more and more legitimate ways to contact and engage with MPs and other key decision makers. I can only guess about what is to come especially in the lead up to the General Election.

Cross posted with Ruder Finn Dot Comms