And so as the silly season is upon us and a young politico’s thoughts turn towards the party conference season in a coupe of month’s time. Can’t you just see what a fun kind of guy I am?
I’ve been flirting with the online politico’s for some time now, via the weekly @PMQ_s twitter feed. It’s an incestuous existence, and one that I’m keen to keep my offline distance from.
But then I hit upon the idea of taking @PMQ_s on the road for the conference season. Sounds perfect – live tweets from Bournemouth, Manchester and Brighton as the Boy Clegg, Dave and Gordo get in a fluster reading out a speech that wasn’t written by them, and one which contains political ideas and vision that they have no intention of carrying out, if elected.
Of course the @PMQ_s name wouldn’t quite fit, but @Davemakingaknobofhimself is slightly too elongated for the concise world of the twitterati. I’ve somehow picked up over 1,600 followers for the feed, which isn’t bad going, seeing as though I only tweet for half an hour each week, and even then, only when the House is sitting.
It’s proven to be quite a loyal crowd, attracting followers from the nasty far right, through to, well, left of David Blunkett. There’s plenty of engagement and interaction as well. I try and place the tweets as apolitical as possible, which is proving to be rather easy when you hear three contrasting views (yeah, right,) slugging it out each week.
But where to start with the @PMQ_s happy happy autumn road show? Marketing turns everything into s****, but I need to pay my way. The @PMQ_s brand (ha!) holds some sway, judging by the growing number of tweeting MP’s that are following me.
I need to *shhh* moneterize (urgh!) the brand. By which I mean I need a way to pay my way around some of the country’s finest B&B’s for three weeks in early autumn. @PMQ_s has attracted interest from some national newspapers and other mainstream politico sites taking the feed each week. Once money was mentioned however and the grand plans baulked. Strange, that.
And then there’s the whole accreditation system. The thee main parties give the impression of wanting to hold a big online conversation, but when it comes down to access, then BIG media still get the gig.
The content is out there – I’d have no problems filling three weeks of tweeting and podcasting from around the conference arenas. But are mainstream politics really ready to embrace this form of open dialogue?