Tweetminster.co.uk | ©2010-2011 TweetminsterTweetminster was launched in December 2008 with the goal of making UK politics more open andsocial. Our mission is to make politicians moreaccessible to the public, help people follow breakingnews stories and make sense of political issues by connecting directly with the MPs, journalists andpoliticos that shape the national debate. When we launched Tweetminster there were 4 MPsusing Twitter. As of January 19th 2010 there are 111MPs and 226 PPCs on Twitter, and these numbersare growing daily.Tweetminster also tracks and analyses thousandsof posts by news sources, journalists, bloggers
and the wider “UK politics network” (dened by
our bespoke network analysis tools) comprising
thousands of inuential activists, writers, bloggers,
pundits, analysts and opinion leaders within theTwitter community.
Over the last twelve months we have seen ashift in how Twitter is perceived as a political
communications tool, notably there are now more
MPs tweeting than blogging – a development that
has surprised many in the political community whofelt text-based blogging would remain the primary social media tool for UK politicians. This shift
in social media activity may be because Twitter
posts connect with a wide number of users and
conversations whilst requiring less investment of time than long-form blogging. This convenience
factor, combined with the public attention focusedon Twitter in 2009, means it is easier for politicians
to gain visibility using Twitter than competing for web trafc with more established bloggers. We believe that Twitter and other social mediaplatforms, if used effectively, have the potential
to impact the next general election campaign andshape the 2010 parliament in unprecedented waysthat we can currently only make an educated guessabout - for the simple reason that many of thesetools weren’t around the last time the UK took tothe booths. The sheer pace of change within UK user engagement with social media platforms
means the public are constantly innovating how to best leverage the political potential of these tools
– often faster than political parties or the media.
However, we can say with some certainty that whatever the impact of social media on the general
election, 2010 will set new standards for digitalengagement in local and national politics, open data
and accessibility, with all parties and government
departments putting digital engagement high ontheir agendas.The aim of this report is to share with you ananalysis of the data that underpins the Twitter andUK politics network. The report encompasses an
overview, our top-5 ndings and a summary of data
around MPs, PPCs and News & Comment.