Yesterday Geerdi Verbeet, President of the Dutch lower house of parliament, told off Members for twittering during parliamentary debates. According to Dutch media agency ANP, Verbeet has spoken to certain MPs and asked them, out of courtesy, to focus on the debates rather than posting messages on social media platforms.
While the debate on whether it is bad manners to check emails during meetings on Blackberries, iPhones and other portable devices rages on, Twitter usage is growing exponentially among teens and politicians alike (apparently Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen is also on Twitter). Another case in point is the recently launched Swedish Presidency website featuring a small group of staffers that tweet under the heading of ‘Voices from the Swedish Presidency’. One of the Swedish micro-bloggers Gunnar Caperius (Twitter username: G_Caperius) clearly tweets during lunches and meetings, if not, at least in-between meetings.
Is this so bad? Personally the Lobby likes it as we get a feel for how Gunnar works, where’s he’s going to/from, how discussions on a specific topic are progressing, and we are even kept up to date when he is having to wait for the President of Mexico. Just as checking emails during meetings has now become commonplace, so will twittering (it basically is already).
The Lobby say go with it! Capitalise on what digital solutions can do for your business, your political campaign, your relationships with far flung friends and for keeping in touch with tomorrow’s talent – the kids are all doing it after all.
– Emil and Bilyana