Monday, December 15, 2008

Twitter attracts Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs

Maxime Verhagen, the Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs (Minister van Buitenlandse Zaken) joined the tweeting masses in August this year and is interacting with 1,388 followers (as it currently stands) letting them know what he is up to by posting regularly on Twitter.

Twitter has been around in the public domain since August 2006, stemming from the idea of staying in touch with friends. The success of Twitter lies in its simplicity - posts are based on answering the question "What are you doing?" in less than 140 characters.

I have been signed up for a few weeks now (TheWritingWell) and have been astounded by the tips, advice and leads picked up just by following others in the same field. It is a hive of activity, and brimming with info, as well as just finding out what people you know (or don't yet know) are up to in their daily lives. There is of course also a lot of nonsense going on in the world of Twitter and selectivity is key!

Oh, and of course you can also keep up to date with the world of Dutch foreign affairs. Here are a few of Maxime's latest tweets (translated):

  • This afternoon - Straight on to question time for a debate with Groen Links on the reconstruction of Iraq.
  • This morning - Meeting with the Indian Ambassador
  • 13th December - After a pile of reading enjoying the Christmas tree the children have put up
  • 12th December - Off to the conference room for the second day of the EU Top meeting

When Maxime Verhagen was asked directly this week by a fellow tweeter (Spartz) why he had decided to join Twitter he explained it was to show that there does not need to be a huge gulf between politicians and the people. He has also stated in a previous interview that although he cannot explain the foreign policy of the Netherlands in 140 characters, he can share what he is busy doing and talk about the issues facing the country.

Maybe a few more politicians should follow his lead and start connecting with the voters!

For more on this check out these links:

Spits Article
De Nieuwe Reporter
Verhagen's webpage on the CDA (Christian Democrats) site
Maxime on Wikipedia

No comments:

Post a Comment