Wednesday, November 18, 2009

YouGov: Twitter UK full of Guardian readers talking amongst themselves with no else listening

I do like it when I'm shown to be right, and I like it even more when a left wing publication does it for me. Prospect magazine sent me an embargoed press release yesterday, 'churnalistically' written up by Sunny Hundal on Liberal Conspiracy. The press release basically said that Prospect did a poll and most people on Twitter are Guardian reading whingers.

Hilariously, the press release is being written up as showing that the left is a force to be reckoned with on Twitter. Now comes the reality check. What the poll actually shows is that Twitter actually tends to be used by like-minded people talking to themselves about the views they all agree on. Far from being a "campaigning tool" what it shows is that no one in the real world could care less what a bunch of Guardian readers are saying amongst themselves in 140 characters, and, crucially, if they did care enough to look they'd disagree with them anyway.

The most validatory statistic from the poll toward my view that Twitter 'ain't all that', is that 76% of the British population said they'd never used Twitter and, also, had no intention to use it in the future. In other words, Twitter is a communication medium that encourages groupthink whilst simultaneously making the group believe their views are having influence on a wider population when in fact they're all just shouting at each other in a locked and sound-proof room.

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