At yesterday’s OpenLabourNZ event in Wellington there was a discussion about the growing importance of social media and how it is transforming engagement in the political process.
The growing use of twitter and facebook by members of parliament as well as public servants was also discussed and the inevitable issues that result when someone makes a controversial comment that can land them in trouble.
The point of the discussion was that social media interaction was becoming more normalised and it was important for employers (and media) not to over react when comments were posted that seemed inflammtory.
Of course there are lines that have to be drawn. A case in point on Red Alert is how the moderation of comments policy has evolved and got stronger over the last year. David Farrar on Kiwiblog also wrote about this issue.
Given the highly charged nature of the political world it’s interesting to see how many MPs are using social media.
Twitter is fast becoming a tool for discussion and commentary during question time in the House and many New Zealand politicans are actively using twitter on a regular basis.
Engage is a tool to measure twitter use by NZ and Australian MPs. It measures the actual interaction by MPs rather than just the number of broadcast messages. And ranks them.
It’s interesting that Rob Muldoon (his ghost) ranks the highest. I am currently second, because of the amount of tweating over the weekend on OpenLabourNZ. I’m sure that will change as Metiria Turei and Jacinda Ardern are hot on my heels.
But while there are quite a few MPs on twitter, not many use it a lot.
I think we will see this change in the coming months.
If you want to get onto twitter go to www.twitter.com. It’s easy and it’s extraordionary.
Update: It appears that Iain Lees-Galloway and Gareth Hughes are also up there in twitter use. Good on them. 46 NZ MPs are currently on twitter (according to Brenda’s site)
Acknowledgement: I spelt Tweet wrong in the headline. I’m better at doing it than talking about it. Here’s some info about twitter