During an email conversation the other day, Ashely Murchison pointed me towards a site I hadn’t come across before. www.tweetmps.co.nz. I did a bit of digging and found who is behind it, Ben.
The idea came to Ben after reading a book about open government, it included a mention of tweetcongress.org. Ben sees the role of TweetMPs as helping to contextualise the conversations that MPs have, so that voters can get a better understanding of how government works. He is also looking to provide a platform that supplies information for other people to use to get an insight into what MPs are doing on Twitter. But the main aim, which is one that I agree with, is to promote the use of Twitter by MPs as a way to engage with the public, and have them engage back.
The project is still in its early, beta, stages. It has only been live since January, with work still to be done on delivery on a number of these aims. I can see this serving the same purpose as the wide range of Twitter lists that are available, showing all of the MPs accounts. But in a much more interactive and informative method.
I suspect for many MPs, they simply don’t know what good Twitter usage looks like, nor what the potential returns from it are, hence they don’t engage. Something like Tweetmps.co.nz is a great tool that puts all of the MPs work in one location, providing a number of metrics that can help give a full picture.
There is a hall of shame page on there, but one thing I would suggest to Ben is to also add a hall of fame on there, showing what good usage looks like.
Even if you follow all the MPs on Twitter, I still suggest that you head over and check it out. There are some interesting tools on there and I expect to see more as we get closer to E-Day.