Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Downing Street and Twitter

Twitter is still managing to achieve more column inches in press coverage than you would expect and many commentators are now praying for the next big thing to finally come along. Just most press agencies go straight to Facebook to lift any photos they can when investigating an individual. So most are now following as many people as possible so they have access to any Tweet that can be quickly used as an unofficial quote.

Politicians especially love this and now you can follow tweets from Number 10, The Foreign Office, the local government department and any number of MP's who want to be seen as "down with the kids". The quality of these understandably vary and so now the government has released a 20 page strategy paper on how to write for Twitter. This has been created by the majestically titles head of corporate digital channels at Lord Mandelson's Department for Business and taking over the world.

To be fair to the paper those companies who are currently paying a lot of money to agencies to advise them on the use of twitter as a marketing could save a lot by finding this on the web. In it it advises correctly that any postings should come from humans rather than dull RSS feeds. That they should be timely and regular at least two per day. They should also be credible and used to present worthwhile information.

Most interesting however is his point about it being used as a minute by minute guide for potential "crisis content". Although this is just a guide once again we have the prospect of Twitter becoming the news service by which people find out first about major crisis updates. If that does happen not only will it close out many users but it will also truly give cause for concern to all traditional news outlets whatever their media base.

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