John Edwards' Twitter feed shows politicians don't get micro-blogging yet

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edwardstwitter.jpgIt seems like everyone and their Dog 2.0 is hooked on Twitter, the most addictive new technology since the BlackBerry. And not just us mere web users either. Senator John Edwards wants to become the next Democrat presidential nominee in the US, and he’s using Twitter to do it.

The trouble is, he’s not doing a great job of it. Edwards’ Twitter feed is seriously dull. It’s just a list of where he’s just been, or is about to go. Check this sample: “Washington DC today. About to make remarks at the Int’l Assoc. of Firefighters. Then remarks at the Boilermakers conference.”

The problem is that nobody cares about this sort of information (apart from assassins, of course). If politicians really think micro-blogging can be a useful way to engage with voters, they’re going to have to say interesting stuff. Hell, they’re already adept at soundbites, so squeezing their views into 140-character messages should be doable.

Still, kudos to Edwards for at least trying, I guess. Could it happen here? It’s surely only a matter of picoseconds before David Cameron leaps onto the Twitter bandwagon, top hat in hand. And you can imagine Gordon Brown posting an hourly tweet:

– “Day-to-day management of monetary policy should be independent and the same principled approach be applied in other areas.”

– “We match a commitment to balance the current budget over the economic cycle with an ability to make the necessary long-term investments.”

– “Pension funds up the spout? Shit.”

Okay, so maybe that wouldn’t make for great reading. Perhaps Boris Johnson could insult a different British city with each tweet (“Folkestone? Bunch of lazy stoner Kentish idiots!”), or Lembit Opik could post hourly updates on his romance with Her Out Of The Cheeky Girls.

Admittedly, this ‘politicians using Twitter’ trend may require more thought…

Stuart Dredge