social media savvy, or the lack thereof in Northern Ireland

This General Election is getting very interesting indeed.

Not because of the usual shenanigans, but because of the attempts to show how 'switched on , hip and happening' politicians are by engaging with the phenomenon that social media is.

The Purpose of a Business is to Create a Customer…who creates customers

In the case of an election it is more about

The Purpose of a political party is to Create a loyal active voter…who creates loyal active voters

The present General Election has seen a plethora of political parties moving into the virtual constituency space, and the exciting potentials also provide opportunities for major gaffes.

Labour has also been found slight wanting in its understanding of social media per se.


there are also any number of fake twitter accounts for Northern Ireland such as @SammyWilsonMP, and a ton of fake Iris Robinson accounts (which i will not put links to from here.  If you really want to find them do a google search).

One account of note has been terminated very recently.  It was of Ann Cooper, the TUV candidate selected to fight for the Castlereagh seat vacated by Iris Robinson.  While it is no longer on twitter, google has kindly cached it.  The account was @TUVAnnCooper It was, shall we say, risqué, so be warned, though still tame compared to the fake  Iris accounts.

This is a salutary lesson for everyone, including politicians.  What goes on-line, stays on-line for a very, very long time.  Google, and other search engines, cache pages of information for storage and retrieval.  Even if it is taken down, the information will live as a 'ghost' for a long time on-line, fully searchable by those who wish to dig deep.

For a run down of the social media engagement, or lack thereof, by the local parties, I hope to fill a page with all the links to their on-line presence.

Even the UK Electoral office is using Facebook to alert potential voters about the impending election.

As an aside, I have found a number of Facebook pages that was set up very early in the morning in response to the Real IRA bomb at Palace Barracks.  One is called 'I Survived The Great Northern Ireland Explosion of 12/04/2010' while another is 'RIP JEDWARD - died 12/4/2010 12:24am by Holywood Bomb'.  Funny as they are, mostly because no one was seriously injured and no loss of life happened, it is really an example of the on-line constituency taking control of the publishing media and pushing their own ideas and agendas.  

Previously i have highlighted 'Hands of our Prep Schools' and 'Get Mephedrone of our streets'.

The Northern Ireland constituency are really getting to grips with Social media, maybe our politicians will be able to learn a thing or two about it too.


Anonymous said...

Why not post a few links to politicians who are using facebook?

Or does that simply not suit your political agenda?

Dawn Baird on 4:45 pm said...

Ivor, aren't anonymous people are so boring!

I'd reckon there are very few using Facebook.

And, those politicians who're using Twitter are just on to sell. There's precious little evidence of engagement.

Ivor Whitten on 10:18 pm said...

Anon, My own political agenda is fairly obvious from my previous posts. And if I had a really pushy agenda, I would have only provided links to Conservatives and Unionists. The Labour links are there because, well, they made the boo boos.

As I stated in the actual blogpost itself, I intend to gather together as much as possible, all the social media political links as possible.

Come back again soon and you might be surprised at who i link to!

Ivor Whitten on 10:25 pm said...

Hi Dawn,

Yes they can be, but living where we do I don't begrudge anonymous posting due to political sensitivities.

I hope to be looking at the party and politician's usage of twitter/facebook/blogging.

Many use it to just broadcast information, and forget that these platforms are actually 'virtual' doorsteps and are likely to be asked questions.

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