Monday, October 08, 2012

2 years and 7 months that persuaded the PM to join Twitter

The picture I took at Starbucks. And tweeted
Two years and seven months after I collared Prime Minister David Cameron on the subject of his position on Twitter ("Too Many Tweets Make a Twat, to quote from his Absolute Radio interview before the last election) he has finally taken the plunge and started his own account.

His opening tweet - for those who have lost the connection in the mists of time - is a reference to that very "Twat" faux pas.
"I'm starting Conference with this new Twitter feed about my role as Conservative Leader. I promise there won't be "too many tweets..."
When I bumped into Cameron in a London Starbucks he took the view that politicians should think before they speak - which makes Twitter risky.
Politicians, he said, needed to think about what they said, before they said it.

He worried that those who tweeted all the time were sharing a stream of consciousness.

I said politicians ought not think too hard before they speak, they should tweet their stream of consciousness. I'd prefer the direct honesty.
For the rest of the original post, (and some interesting issues about the realities of privacy in today's connected world), go here.

By co-incidence I was retelling the story of my chance encounter with the PM at one of the panel sessions of London Social Media Week a couple of week's back. Which has led to some confusion:

While it is perfectly possible that I set a small flame burning in Cameron's mind back in 2010 (the power of John Prescott's ability to disintermediate the media may have had growing resonance post the whole Murdoch melt-down) I cannot claim to be behind this latest sorte into social media. If I had been he'd be following more folk back than a handful of echo-chamber Tory MPs. And he wouldn't have an underscore in his Twitter handle (it's @david_cameron). I mean, have folk there never used an iPhone???

Also I'd have been making his move on to Twitter part of a much larger shift from centre to edge.

Inspired by my new connection, I wrote an Open Letter (with the emphasis on Open) to Mr Cameron after our meeting (and after he'd come to power). Given the 2 year 7 month delay between our Starbucks enounter and his Twitter account, it would be wonderful to think that he'll be acting on the contents of the Open Letter by Christmas... Here's hoping!

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The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?