David Seymour, the Auckland Power Outage and Facebook vs Twitter

David Seymour is the new MP for Epsom. There have been some who have suggested that he was only elected because of the deal an accommodation from National.  However, whatever the reasons behind his election he is now the MP for Epsom and should be judged on his actions as a local MP, as opposed to how he got there.


Yesterday saw a large power outage in Auckland. The area covered by the Epsom electorate was heavily affected. Now there is not a lot that a local MP could do to help fix the issues around the power outage. But they can serve as a key information clearing point to help provide and disseminate well informed and accurate information. It is this role that David took on.



He has tried to provide some reassurance to his followers about what is being done today to fix the issue as well as looking to the future and what will be done to assess what happened and how it can be prevented in the future.


However the posts on the same issue on two different platforms show that each platform has it’s strengths and weaknesses. David’s tweet is obviously limited by the character limit of Twitter. However the choice of what to focus on is interesting. Instead of focusing on where things stood, or what changes could be expected in the coming hours. Instead he has focused on elements to come in the following days. On the other hand, his Facebook status gives a much better view of where things stand and what people can expect. Now this is not unexpected, as Facebook is not limited to the same extent that Twitter is. I am not a fan of directly linking Facebook and Twitter accounts. Because the content that works on one doesn’t always work well on the other, but sometimes manually linking to Facebook content is a good idea. It is one way to get around the limitations of Twitter. But it should be used sparingly.


Content should be crafted for the platform that it is to be used on. It is rare for content to work well on different platforms. Facebook can happily support longer content. Where as Twitter is better suited to linking to longer content than it is to carrying it. So the use of Twitter to spread a link to specific Facebook content is good. I think David has fallen into the trap of trying to fit too much into a single tweet. Instead he should have linked to his Facebook status, which contained useful information that would have helped people get a better understanding of what was happening.