ID: What do you make of Twitter?If you would like to follow me on Twitter, click HERE and then click FOLLOW underneath the photo.
TB: Someone said I was on it. Someone had pretended they were me. I got an email from someone saying they had found out who was doing the impersonating. But what is Twitter?
ID: It’s a form of micro blogging. You can say what you want as long as it is only 140 characters. Before I came here I twittered: “About to interview Tony Benn”.
TB: So you twitter yourself?
ID: Yes. One day I saw you appear as a Twitter profile, so I added you to my ‘follow list’.
TB: I was told I had said I was going to have a cup of tea.
ID: I saw several tweets from you, all of which were in your language and were entirely convincing. Then it turned out it wasn’t you at all.
TB: Someone emailed and said ‘I have discovered who is faking your ‘Twitter’. Do lots of people do it?
ID: Absolutely. Jonathan Ross does it now…
TB: That’s not a recommendation…
ID: Stephen Fry, quite a lot of celebrities do it, even some politicians as a way of bypassing the media. I have 800 people following me now, although I only follow about 60.
TB: It sounds a fascinating form of communication.
ID: It’s great for research. I can ask any question on Twitter and within twenty seconds someone will provide the answer in a tweet. Facebook was the fad of 2008, Twitter will probably be the 2009 fad.
TB: That’s all fascinating. But you’re the great blogger. You’ve pioneered serious blogging.
ID: I didn’t pioneer it, but I get quite a big readership – about 80,000 people every month, 600,000 last year.
TB: That is real influence.
ID: But even if you only have a few hundred, tell me a politician who wouldn’t like to make a speech to several hundred people every day. I suspect if you were starting out in politics now, you would be a fanatical blogger.
TB: I have thought about that, but you can't write a diary and do a blog at the same time. If you are a diarist you have to be free to do it, and if you are a blogger you have a different audience. A blogger is addressing an audience whereas I am recording what has happened.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Twittering With Tony Benn
One part of the Tony Benn interview I did yesterday, which won't be appearing in Total Politics, concerned the attempt to fake his identity on Twitter. I thought my blogreaders might enjoy this exchange in which I try to explain the joys of Twitter and Tony Benn givs his views on blogging.