I’m a big fan of Twitter. As you’ll have seen from the feed alongside, while I wasn’t writing the blog very often, I was still Tweeting. There’s been a lot of introspection about it recently, with blogposts like this one.
My gut feeling is that asking if the Commission should Twitter is as daft as asking whether it should use the phone or write. Twitter is a means of communication, not an end in itself. What the Commission, like any organisation, has to consider is HOW it uses it. One of the basic rules about communication is identifying who you want to talk to and how do you best talk to them. Twitter is just part of that. Here’s some advice I gave to one of my colleagues in the Commission who is considering using Twitter.
With Twitter you a) talk to a self-selecting audience and b) have to be pithy. For those reasons it’s got an edge over a website. Plus you can, maybe even have to, be a bit more personal – if you look at even the very official ones (Parliament, Conservatives, Lib Dems) there’s a personal tone. So I would say it’s best to have just one or two people who are really up for doing it. It’s the most interactive of all the social media and it needs upkeep and someone who finds it useful and sees the value in it.
I find it good more for what I learn (breaking news, good EU gossip) than what people get from me. It has helped me find quite a lot of people interested in EU issues. Reading Jon Bernstein, that’s true for people at the other end of the news telescope. I’d be interested to know what you think.