MPs on Twitter: Ruth Dyson

In the Twitter Stats post on Saturday I made an observation about Ruth Dyson. She doesn’t show up much in my timeline, but for at least the last 4 or 5 weeks she has been holding steady in 3rd place for the most active Labour MP on Twitter. I found this interesting, most of the MPs that hit the top three, for their parties, are pretty visible in my timeline. When I tweeted about Ruth making number 3 again, I got the following reply:


It is a fair question, if she is so active, why isn’t she showing up in more peoples timelines. I follow her, and she hasn’t jumped out at me as being highly active, so I thought it was worth a bit of a closer look.


Now Ruth has been around on Twitter for a while, she has established a medium sized following.

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However, going by the information in this screen grab, she spent the first 18 months, not really being that active. Between January 2010 and June 2012 she sent 408 tweets. So like a number of people, it took her a little while to find her feet on Twitter.

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There are two other factors on here that highlight potential reasons as to why she may not be showing up as being so active to some of use. The first one is the number of ReTweets, 35% of her tweets. With a number of people using Twitter clients, and the way Twitter now handles retweets, they don’t show up as being from her.

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Added to this is the fact that 32% of her tweets are replies. With Twitter, if you reply to someone, that tweet only gets fed into the timelines of those tagged in the tweet, and those who follow both you and the person you are replying too. There is a way around this, putting a full stop (.) at the start of the tweet. This results in everyone who follows the sender. So with these two elements, it is easy to see how Ruth can be as active as she is, without being seen to be as active.


Ruth’s list of most retweeted accounts is pretty much to be expected, apart from one thing, where is the party leaders account?

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Ruth is proof that anecdotal evidence is not that reliable. She has quietly built a presence on Twitter. There are some things she could do to improve it, but she is definitely one of the leaders of the second tier of MPs on Twitter.