Tuesday, March 29, 2011

#BBCfail will limit their election reach

The Scottish Election kicked into gear last night as the parties entered the first full week of campaigning following the dissolution of parliament last week. Both the BBC and STV launched election twitter feeds and while STV backed this up with an impressive new election website which integrates video content and a live twitter feed which is far more content rich than BBC Scotland's staid Scottish politics page. But where the BBC will lose out is on Twitter. Because rather than adopting the popular #sp11 hashtag to mark out their election stories, the BBC have gone it alone with one of their own. #sp11 has already been adopted by candidates and political organisations, and has significant use in the Twitter community. For the uninitiated, this is important to the effective use of Twitter, not just to be a happy par of the Twitter family, but because by clicking on the hashtag in a tweet you can follow the wider conversation on the topic. It places your tweets in context, and as part of a wider discussion of an issue. In this case, many Twitter users are already using #sp11, creating a live stream of national and local election news and views from across the country. For news organisations, Twitter presents an opportunity to drive traffic to your website for more in-depth coverage of an issue, gaining you viewers and readers. So, rather than join in this established discussion on Twitter, BBC Scotland has chosen to adopt their own hashtag, #sp2011. Although it's not their own. It's also heavily used by fans of French Canadian singer Seb Lefebvre So if you're looking for occasional updates from the Scottish election campaign from a single news source, alongside very, very regular updates of how Seb Lefebvre's album is going down with a group of VERY EXCITED French Canadians I'd suggest following #sp2011. For those of us who want to keep up to date with the Election, keep using #sp11. #bbcfail, as they say on Twitter. UPDATE: BBC just tweeted to say they are adopting #sp11. Welcome back to the Twitter community!