Friday, July 3, 2009

My visit to the first tweetup of Dutch Minister Verhagen of Foreign Affairs.

Today, I was invited by our Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxime Verhagen to join his first tweetup. He organized this tweetup to celebrate the fact that he has more than 10.000 followers. It was a nice event. Maxime told about his experience with Twitter.
  1. In the Dutch House of Representatives it is not allowed to Twitter because representatives should listen. However it is allowed to write 140 characters on paper. A messenger will bring this paper to his spokesman. His spokesman is now able to tweet the message. I think the chairmain of the Dutch House of Representatives should allow tweets. Accept this new way of communication. People will always find their way to be able to tweet. Maxime reaction on this: 'I do not listen with my fingers.'
  2. People do not understand that Maxime has time to tweet. As Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxime travels a lot. During travelling by car, plane, ..... you always have some time to tweet.
  3. It is nice way to get feedback on what you are doing. Postive feedback is nice, but you can learn from negative feedback and take action on it.
  4. He told about his twitpic from the Treves zaal. This was not allowed. He was suprised because a lot of pictures are available on the internet of the Treves zaal. Only official pictures of the Treves zaal are allowed. The end result of this discussion resulted in a lot more followers for Maxime.

My observations during this event:
  1. Average age of the attendees was around 35. This was higher as what I expected. Maybe because the generation Y is not interested in politics and there for not following politicans like Maxime. I saw a womam which could be my mother. Nice to see that people from that generation can make the shift to the new way of communication.
  2. The spokesman of Maxime is not twittering.
  3. Most guests are twittering since the last 6 months.
  4. Most guests are twittering from a personal perspective, not from a business perspective.
  5. Some guests are following Maxime to understand what he is doing as Minister of Foreign Affairs others are following Maxime to understand his political point of view and a group who are interested in the way Maxime uses social media.
  6. Mixture of Nokia Smartphone, Blackberries, IPhones to tweet live. But also a group of people which only make their tweets via a PC.
  7. Everybody is looking forward to the next tweetup. For instance a BBQ on the Binnenhof

The Twitters: @rotjong, @kruithoph @tonyjansen @jacokoster @zorg20 made a nice certificate for Maxime: Minister Tweep. The first minister which is using Twitter in a formal way.

Thanks Maxime for organizing this tweetup. I have enjoyed it. More politicans should follow your way of using social media.

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