On-line interactivity, every politician’s dream or worst nightmare?

Politics and Twitter must be a challenge for these long-winded speech producing politicians. They only got 140 characters to put their message across in a tweet. 😉 Still a few manage quite elegantly. 


The article we had accompanying this assignment from Jackson & Lilleker (2009) spoke of studies across all SNS platforms, while we only had to look at 1, namely twitter and only 1 politician. For me that makes it hard to draw parrallels or make a comparision. All you can do is say something about whether the politician you selected to follow for the last couple of weeks uses Twitter in a web 1.0 / 1.5 or 2.0 way.


I was already following Alexander Pechthold and decided to stick with him. I checked his tweets from the last couple of weeks and my first impression is that he is a web 1.5 user. He tends to use twitter in both a vertical and horizontal communication strategy. Meaning he sends out loads of oneway messages but balances these out with engaging some voters who have sent  him a tweet. Why is this not a web 2.0 form of communication? Because he chooses whom to engage and thus keeps control and the tweets he does reply to usually are all one-off’. Never in the 4 weeks that I checked, did I see a real discussion unfold on twitter between Mr. Pechthold and one of the voters.


In Mr. Pechthold’s defence I have to say that to be truly web 2.0 via twitter must be really hard, as it would almost be a full-time job to be so interactive. Therefore I conclude that is not only the way Mr. Pechthold uses twitter but also this particular SNS platform called twitter is actually limiting the web 2.0 possibilities for politicians.


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