Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Business

Home loans made clear

August Virtual Community Cabinet in review.

By johnboy - 30 August 2011 39

Once again four cabinet ministers debased themselves on the altar of Canberra’s tiny twitter community.

The self-promoters, the attention seekers and the griefers were out in force, as were the jokers. It was all one would expect from a community as self-regarding as Twitter.

Here’s a look at the tweets that caught my eye (taken from two different feeds which just about let me keep up but does look a bit funny).

They’re in chronological order, although vagaries of twitter and running two feeds means there might be some overlaps.


It started with the jokers.

screenshot


In a channel with severe signal to noise ratio problems the ACT Secretary of the Labor Party lacked the judgment to not spam it with with irrelevancies.

screenshot


And then these being twitter nerds there’s always someone with nothing better to ask about than Twitter.

screenshot


As well as the Ministers, the communications chief Simon Kinsmore was answering questions on behalf of the ACT Government. (Which begged the question why not have more senior public servants involved?)

screenshot


There being no end to the self-involvement of a Tweeter we were treated to that favourite of social media; eating.

screenshot


At least Simon Kinsmore was getting rave reviews.

screenshot


And there was no point in proceedings that the urge to retweet without thought to the channel could be resisted.

screenshot


It wasn’t as if all the Ministers were so engaged they couldn’t go wandering offtopic with the herd either.

screenshot


If there’s one thing Twitter is never short of is techno-utopians who think all the world is a nail to their ill advised hammer.

screenshot


Offtopic chit chat is at least a great way to avoid the impenetrable questions of the mothering activists surrounding hospital policy.

screenshot


Ooh look at me flooding a channel to retweet that something started some time ago.

screenshot


Even Simon Corbell’s media adviser couldn’t resist screaming “look at me” while contributing nothing from holidays.

screenshot


It seems Simon Corbell was off having his own discussions, but following #actvcc all you’d know was others asking him about it.

screenshot


Joy Burch had a tenacious critic of the housing she was getting, which eventually lead to the “let’s take this offline” capitulation.

screenshot


No question was too inane.

screenshot


And all questions could be answered with variations on these answers: Soon, we’re thinking about it, it’s not our problem.

Like this response to the above.

screenshot


Lardman, having found an audience, was waxing philosophical.

screenshot


Twitter enthusiasts must evangelise at all times.

screenshot


Every now and then a curly question was thrown up.

screenshot


But relentless self promotion is a key characteristic of Twitter.

screenshot


Social media loves talking about social media almost as much as mainstream media likes writing about itself.

screenshot


And then the delusions of grandeur kicked in for sections of the crowd. If you want to be part of cabinet we suggest you get elected, form government, and get appointed to a ministry.

screenshot


The griefers started getting abusive.

screenshot


The Chief Minister did have a good answer to the cabinet wannabe.

screenshot


The Twitter enthusiasts delusions of grandeur extended to moving the whole Legislative Assembly to their domain.

screenshot


Predictably the mob thought this was a good idea.

screenshot


Simon Corbell had his evasion down pat.

screenshot


Paranoia set in.

screenshot


Followed swiftly by self congratulation.

screenshot


Twitter being quantitatively based rather than qualitatively, again sheer weight of tweets spammed into the #actvcc channel will probably be used to justify the process.

In its favour a small number of tweeters might feel as if they’ve been listened to.

It’s hard to say if that’s a good or a bad thing.

What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
39 Responses to
August Virtual Community Cabinet in review.
Filter
Showing only Website comments
Order
Newest to Oldest
Oldest to Newst
emd 3:35 pm 01 Sep 11

Yes, there is a signal to noise ratio problem with #actvcc – but that’s a problem with Twitter in general. Most emails are spam too, but it doesn’t stop people finding ways to use it efficiently.

I thought #actvcc was great for getting people politically engaged with their local government. There were kids asking questions, for goodness sake! And getting answers, which is even better. I personally think getting people politically engaged, feeling that there are multiple ways for them to make contact with the elected representatives, is a good thing for democracy.

p1 3:35 pm 01 Sep 11

johnboy said :

Twitter’s the bomb if you have a million adoring fans I’ll grant.

Twitter is the reason I would punch Justin Bieber in the face if I ever met him.

p1 3:33 pm 01 Sep 11

I’ve been “using” twitter for a while now. I follow a select group of people (the majority of whom never post anything) a short list of media outlets (which provides a service something like the “Just In” page on the ABC, but for all the news sites at once. I have also experimented with automatically uploading the temperature outside my study window to the net every couple of minutes, and twitter provided a cheap free way to do that.

Occasionally I find it pretty funny to troll people posting to the #auspol hashtag, but that is full of Climate Change Denying Abbott Fanboys, so it gets frustrating pretty quick.

tl:dr – I tend to agree with JB on this. However, if it provides a segment of the community the chance to interact with their elected representatives, great. Just so long as this doesn’t replace all other forms of “consultation”.

johnboy 3:27 pm 01 Sep 11

damien haas said :

an act light rail volunteer enthusiastically created an act light rail twitter acount. sadly i have no idea how it works, nor can i really see the value of twitter. im more comfortable with blogs and lately facebook.

im sure i sat down and nodded my head as twitter was explained to me, and i keep getting emaiils saying people are following act light rail on twitter, but i dont think ive ever sent anything out on twitter and even if i wanted to do i have no idea how to.

but good on those who do.

‘social’ media is the future. rupert murdoch and john griffiths are equal when a person types in a url or clicks on a link.

Putting your blog’s RSS feed into Twitter is well worth doing as it gets your headlines to the small number of twitterers with an interest.

One tool among many.

Twitter’s the bomb if you have a million adoring fans I’ll grant.

damien haas 3:23 pm 01 Sep 11

an act light rail volunteer enthusiastically created an act light rail twitter acount. sadly i have no idea how it works, nor can i really see the value of twitter. im more comfortable with blogs and lately facebook.

im sure i sat down and nodded my head as twitter was explained to me, and i keep getting emaiils saying people are following act light rail on twitter, but i dont think ive ever sent anything out on twitter and even if i wanted to do i have no idea how to.

but good on those who do.

‘social’ media is the future. rupert murdoch and john griffiths are equal when a person types in a url or clicks on a link.

peterh 2:04 pm 01 Sep 11

Twitter can be utilised in these sorts of discussions with the simple addition of a hashtag search, saved as a column or screen via a free app / product. I use Tweetdeck specifically to seperate the comments out as a part of a “conversation”. I also have participated in TweeterView Interviews where the tweeterview application drives the tag and collates the information.

Twitter isn’t for everyone, nor is facebook, linkedin or Google Plus. Bagging out the users of these mediums as you aren’t interested in using them is like saying all people who drive a car or ride a bike are morons. they aren’t, and it is an incredible generalisation.

There are people in the Social media environments who are interested in what was had for dinner, breakfast or what you are wearing, but they make up more of the social side of social media. It is an unfortunate term, as some of us engage with clients, gain feedback, sort out problems, set up meetings, and generally use social media environments as yet another way to interact with our existing or potential clients.

Several members of the RA community are on twitter, some are old users since left the RA, others are in both mediums. It is another communication system, it doesn’t replace forums, it complements them.

Marketing people use Social Media. Sales people use social media. Advertising, developers, everyone can use social media, it is a case of whether it is an effective use or not.

With respect to the #ACTVCC / #actvcc event, it is a case of how the “conversations” are captured, and whether the ACT Govt ministers actually responded to the questions personally later on for clarification. During the first #ACTVCC, I received follow up messages from the ministers who initially answered my questions, just to ensure that I received the information I had been seeking. The first event was run during the day, not after hours. This may have been the reason for the calibre of questions and their responses.

Erg0 11:30 am 01 Sep 11

Grail said :

But these days no-one wants to hear about using the right tool for the right job.

So I’m probably not the only one who gets annoyed when I see two people having an extended realtime conversation in the form of comments on a Facebook post?

I guess the problem is that they’ve started with a decision on the tool they want to use (due to popularity, I assume), and then worked backwards to try and figure out something useful that they can do with it. As JB alluded to, when all you’ve got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

angrymonkey 11:24 am 01 Sep 11

johnboy said :

Three points with “use twitter”:

1) How many of those logged on once, said “my god this is crap” and never logged on again. My own observational sample is that a very high number of twitter accounts fall into this category. If you also take out those who just “use twitter” to get some headlines piped onto their phones and desktops, but have better things to do than engage, then you’re fragmenting that small base pretty hard.

2) How many of your Twitter users actually had an interest in #ACTVCC rather than posting to no-one in particular “OMG Captain America wuz AWESUM!”?

3) Of those remaining; how many found this tangled, confused, repetitive channel of any informational value?

I’m buggered if I saw any new information in there that wasn’t already on the public record. No one said “that’s a good point, I hadn’t thought of that, we’ll do things differently now”. (Maybe it did happen but I missed it in the noise, also proving my point about the channel).

Of Canberra’s internet users a whole lot more use the general web.

I can’t help thinking Twitter was chosen for modishness over suitability.

(And possibly because it’s something our MLAs think they understand)

From 2009 so a bit old, but you get the idea…

http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2009/if-twitter-was-100-people/

Grail 10:40 am 01 Sep 11

BBerry said :

…but if it is being used to promote the event to try and encourage more people to get involved, isn’t the RT then time sensitive??

This just illustrates part of the problem of using Twitter to host a community discussion. You can’t publicise the hashtag without using the hashtag, which means that discussion happening under that hashtag gets polluted with the attempts to publicise it to everyone’s followers.

Using a proper distributed chat system such as IRC means that any other mechanism can be used to publicise the meeting, with the IRC channel itself reserved entirely for discussion. IRC is easily logged, and the conversation is easily moderated by allowing people to ask questions in a separate channel, thus providing far better clarity to the record of the proceedings.

Of course, IRC is pre-web technology so many people using the Internet today won’t want to use it. The same goes for Usenet or mailing lists versus web forums.

But these days no-one wants to hear about using the right tool for the right job.

Holden Caulfield 10:12 am 01 Sep 11

LSWCHP said :

I think that the idea of providing mechanisms for the community to engage with the government is a good one, so good on the government for trying. Unfortunately, this specific mechanism is a dud.

An open community meeting in a hall is accessible to anyone who is mobile enough to get to the venue via foot, bike, car, bus or whatever.

A Twitterfest requires expensive machinery and a degree of technical facility that should not be underestimated, as bigfeet @21 demonstrates.

In short, this means of community engagement is modern and cool and high tech, but it disenfranchises a large and varied segment of the community including the elderly, the poor and the uneducated….perhaps the people who would benefit most from such engagement. I can guarantee that my elderly parents would be utterly befuddled by all of this, despite their keen interest in politics at all levels.

I wonder how many people in the ACT community were unable to participate in this process for the sort of reason I’ve just mentioned.

Conversely, how many new people have been exposed to communicating with the Government that would have otherwise been ambivalent to doing so?

I doubt you’ll find anyone claiming the twitter cabinet is aiming to be a catchall that involves a majority of voters.

Some people like writing letters, some emails, others going to “town hall” in person.

I do agree there are some failings in the twitter as community cabinet concept, but I applaud the effort to try and reach a broader audience. Let’s hope we are merely witnessing the genesis of a more meaningful approach to online engagement with the public.

PigDog 9:05 am 01 Sep 11

I think I am with johnboy on this one – It strikes me as a bit of a stunt. I bet when their communications people sold the idea they used all the right terms like ‘Gen Y’ and ‘social media engagement’.

Skidbladnir is spot on, why don’t the MLAs actually sit in front of the shops for an hour a month if they want to ‘engage’?

housebound 8:49 am 01 Sep 11

If JB’s sumamry is accurate, then I wouldn’t call this a particularly valuable exercise beyond window dressing its poor record on consulting the community. (hint: you’r really consulting if you listen to things you don’t like and change what you are doing if the case is made)

I think you’ll find the MLAs love twitter because it is not possible to have a conversation about complex and potentially embarrassing issues in a series of tweets, especially if they can be lost amidst all the noise. Call me cynical, but they’ve not had a face-to-face community cabinet meeting for quite a whileand yet they can manage two twit-fests.

johnboy 8:22 am 01 Sep 11

Three points with “use twitter”:

1) How many of those logged on once, said “my god this is crap” and never logged on again. My own observational sample is that a very high number of twitter accounts fall into this category. If you also take out those who just “use twitter” to get some headlines piped onto their phones and desktops, but have better things to do than engage, then you’re fragmenting that small base pretty hard.

2) How many of your Twitter users actually had an interest in #ACTVCC rather than posting to no-one in particular “OMG Captain America wuz AWESUM!”?

3) Of those remaining; how many found this tangled, confused, repetitive channel of any informational value?

I’m buggered if I saw any new information in there that wasn’t already on the public record. No one said “that’s a good point, I hadn’t thought of that, we’ll do things differently now”. (Maybe it did happen but I missed it in the noise, also proving my point about the channel).

Of Canberra’s internet users a whole lot more use the general web.

I can’t help thinking Twitter was chosen for modishness over suitability.

(And possibly because it’s something our MLAs think they understand)

Sherro58 12:12 am 01 Sep 11

I read some comments about #actvcc not reaching many people and thus not being justified. I’m no psephologist but using Twitter in the ACT for this sort of activity seems to be mathematically warranted. Here’s my shot at the maths:

360000 people in the ACT
66000 less than 15
http://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/ausstats/subscriber.nsf/0/577A5E73A09E0987CA2578B700118390/$File/31010do002_201012.xls
Therefore 294000 15 and over
91% use Internet = 267540
15% of these use Twitter (largest % in Australia) = 40131
http://about.sensis.com.au/IgnitionSuite/uploads/docs/SENSIS%20SOCIAL%20MEDIA%20REPORT%5B2%5D.pdf
Number 14-19 = 12.5% therefore about 35115 of voting age
Quota required for election in 2008 = 10000 (about)
http://www.elections.act.gov.au/page/view/5/title/results-by-party-australian
Number of quotas represented by Twitter users = about 3.5

I’d be happy to be corrected, but it seems a pretty strong reason to tweet to me.

LSWCHP 9:20 pm 31 Aug 11

bigfeet said :

LSWCHP said :

…..

A Twitterfest requires expensive machinery and a degree of technical facility that should not be underestimated, as bigfeet @21 demonstrates….

….it disenfranchises a large and varied segment of the community including the elderly, the poor and the uneducated…..

I don’t identify with any of those categories!

I just don’t “get” twitter.

I’m sorry, I wasn’t actually referring to you in that para, although that’s how it may appear on subsequent reading. I certainly wasn’t intending any criticism.

For the record, there’s nothing wrong with being elderly. Getting old sure beats the hell out of the alternative. There’s nothing criminal about being poor. And I’ve know very intelligent people who are uneducated as a result of circumstances beyond their control.

I don’t get Twitter either, particularly when it (whatever it is) is used in this manner.

bigfeet 7:50 pm 31 Aug 11

LSWCHP said :

…..

A Twitterfest requires expensive machinery and a degree of technical facility that should not be underestimated, as bigfeet @21 demonstrates….

….it disenfranchises a large and varied segment of the community including the elderly, the poor and the uneducated…..

I don’t identify with any of those categories!

I just don’t “get” twitter.

LSWCHP 7:18 pm 31 Aug 11

I think that the idea of providing mechanisms for the community to engage with the government is a good one, so good on the government for trying. Unfortunately, this specific mechanism is a dud.

An open community meeting in a hall is accessible to anyone who is mobile enough to get to the venue via foot, bike, car, bus or whatever.

A Twitterfest requires expensive machinery and a degree of technical facility that should not be underestimated, as bigfeet @21 demonstrates.

In short, this means of community engagement is modern and cool and high tech, but it disenfranchises a large and varied segment of the community including the elderly, the poor and the uneducated….perhaps the people who would benefit most from such engagement. I can guarantee that my elderly parents would be utterly befuddled by all of this, despite their keen interest in politics at all levels.

I wonder how many people in the ACT community were unable to participate in this process for the sort of reason I’ve just mentioned.

bigfeet 6:46 pm 31 Aug 11

Gungahlin Al said :

A reply in a week and a half? Tell him he’s dreaming. From a Minister 6 weeks minimum. More likely double that.

I previously have had replies from Andrew Leigh’s office in about 10 days. Lets face it, it’s not as if he has much else to do. He’s probably quite happy to actually get some mail.

You are right about Federal ministers though, I would expect about 6-8 weeks for a reply to a detailed question.

Gungahlin Al 5:59 pm 31 Aug 11

bigfeet said :

Wow… I just read this entire thread and none of it makes any sense to me. It may as well be written in Latvian.

I wanted to engage with my local MLA and MP the other day so I wrote letters, put stamps on them, and dropped them in a post box.

Its been three days now and based on past experience I expect a reply from my MP next week and no reply from Shane Rattenbury at all.

Should I have tweeted? Not that I would have any idea how to of course.

A reply in a week and a half? Tell him he’s dreaming. From a Minister 6 weeks minimum. More likely double that.

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2018 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site