Monday, July 20, 2009

Mike Rann, twits twittering, and the joy of not having a filter

You can always rely on a preening Mike Rann, premier of South Australia, for a bit of old fashioned hypocrisy.

This week the ostensible subject is Twitter, with the subtext how wired Rann is, along with the democratic joys that hot electrification brings. Get busy Tweeting or get busy dying, he triumphantly blogs, and perhaps best of all is the way politicians can avoid the filter of the mainstreeam media:

Twitter followers want straight talk, humour and occasionally a stoush.

They don’t want sanitised, bureaucratic blandishments.

Funnily enough, some reporters can’t deal with Twitter. It makes them defensive.

This puzzles me.

After all, Rupert Murdoch understands the new media. Some of his journalists don’t.

Is it because pollies are now able to communicate directly with the public, rather than through a filter?

That'd be the local media filter rather than Stephen Conroy's internet wide filter? Suddenly I prefer the local media filter.

You can hear the sneering resentment when we are quoted as “speaking on the social networking site, Twitter, …”

That’s like newspapers reporting quotes gleaned from a politician speaking “through the fax stream” or even “through the internet device known as email”.

Or perhaps like newspapers reporting quotes gleaned from a politician speaking from behind the Chinese bamboo internet curtain, or the theocratic Iranian intertubes censorship system, or Stephen Conroy's Steve Fielding approved network wide internet device known as network level filtering, as a bonus add on to the NBN.

I’ve also been attacked because a handful of my Twitter “followers” may be involved in “unsavoury activities”.

The Liberal’s raincoat brigade trawled through thousands of my followers and handed over the naughty tit-bits to a fellow traveller in the media.

It was the same team that brought down their own leader by peddling dodgy documents. Sleaze is their substitute for substance.

I’m sure the risqué also follow Malcolm Turnbull.

Well we won't have any sleazy stuff or the risqué to worry about when Stephen Conroy's grand plan kicks into gear, along with his three strikes and you're off the intertubes plan for dealing with pirates. Then the raincoat brigade will have to go back to trawling through garbage bins or their local purveyor of brown paper cover publications.

‘The Australian’, in particular, seems to have got its knickers in a knot.

It’s the newspaper that campaigns against censorship, and its sister publications carry advertisements for “escorts”.

Lordy, say it ain't so. Well Stephen Conroy will soon sort out that mob. Once the intertubes are banned from carrying anything hinting at escorts, maybe it'll be time to start on the filthy hard copy brethren.

I guess I could vet those who follow me on Twitter.

But that would be like employing a bouncer, or a censor, at my street corner meetings.

Yes, and why employ a bouncer or a censor when Stephen Conroy is to hand.

For me, Twitter represents a “virtual” town hall meeting.

It’s a talkback show involving thousands of people who are interested in policies, programs, and personalities.

After all, politics is a contest of ideas and personalities.

Soon, Twitter won’t seem so threatening to journalists, especially when they realise that their own jobs are likely to be on-line.

Or perhaps on the line, unless they adapt to new technologies.

Ultimately, it’s about giving people what they want, whether they are readers or voters.

I always thought that twitter was for twits, and know I know that giving voters what they want is giving them the tweets of Mike Rann, I'm sure of it.

Meantime, after all this talk of freedom from bouncers and censors - and presumably that includes right wing thuggess from the federal Labor party - I look forward to Mike Rann's active campaigning against Stephen Conroy and his desire to impose a network wide filter on the intertubes in Australia.

I'm dreaming? 

When will we be rid of the prattling prats from the Labor party? Oh and here's a warning from Rann to Mark Day that newspapers are dead, along with a guide to what we can expect when twits are ascendant:

I started using Twitter earlier this year.


Essentially, because I rarely saw young people at my street corner and town hall meetings.

Newspapers are having to appeal to a new, younger, audience by going on-line.

People are no longer content to have their news thrown over the fence once a day.

So media is adapting to changing consumer demands. If they don’t, they’ll perish.

The same is true for politicians.

By Twittering, I am reaching a different audience.

But it’s not just a one-way street.

Through Twitter, people ask me questions. They argue. They disagree. Feedback is healthy in a democracy.

Twitter also takes up very little of my time.

Takes up very little of his time? Gee, I guess that means the healthy feedback is very short, the questions are simple minded, the arguments soon disposed of and the disagreements just a misunderstanding amongst chums. See it the Rann way, or see the highway.

Presumably that's because Rann can dispense with the twittering twits providing tweetish feedback. 

You know: healthy feedback. 

Oh Mr Rann, you're wonderful. Thnks u2.

And then even healthier feedback:

Oh Mr. Rann you do blather on. I b so 1337 Teh ful be pwned.

And then Conroy style feedback:

Oh Mr. Rann ain't freedom wonderful. Ful, pr0n b deadly, phreak off. Conry b teh d00d

Ah yes, the brand new state of the art uncensored world of high technology in the land of Labor twits twittering their tweets. And yes if you want to see Mike Rann in his full intertubes glory, so wired he's so over My Space, rush off to to see him in his old media My Space days here.

Props to Don Dunstan for this (no not the real Don you ghost whispering optimist), but one of Mike's loyal fans, and how long before this page goes down? Here's R. Diddy sending Mr Rann a greeting on 25 April 2008: happy birthyday motherfucker

Hey, that's short enough to go in a tweet.

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