Asking the Candidates: If elected will you continue to use Facebook/Twitter

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After thinking about all the tweets and facebooking from the Irish Presidential Candidates, I decided to ask them if they would contine use Twitter/Facebook if they were elected President of the Republic of Ireland.

I asked the question on Twitter initially, but then posted it also on the candidates Facebook to give them all a fair chance of responding.

These are the respons in the order I have recieved them and on what medium they responded on.

Mary Davis – Facebook

Hi Stephen, when I am elected I will definitely ensure that social media is a key part of my Áras an Uachtarán communications.

Sean GallagherFacebook

Certainly Stephen. I was using both Facebook and Twitter well before I announced my intention to run for the Presidency. Social media and new technologies mean that I can reach people and hear what you, the people of Ireland are saying more clearly than ever before. Best wishes, Seán

Michael D HigginsTwitter

@spiller2 if elected I hope to continue using social media Stephen #aras11

Martin McGuinnessTwitter

@spiller2 I do indeed Stephen

UPDATE 20:25

Dana Rosemary Scallon Twitter

@spiller2 I’m still learning, but I will keep it up while I’m in office. It’s a great way to connect with the people. #aras11 #dana

Senator David Norris (Team) – Facebook

Hi Stephen, I have asked your question and can confirmed a David Norris Presidency would certainly be using Social Media to make the Office of President even more accessible while continuing on the fantastic dialogue David Norris has enjoyed throughout his campaign. Admin (Ronan)

I have yet to recieve a response from Gay Mitchell. When I do I will update this post.

Which MEP best represents your political views? have launched a new tool along the votematch lines. Using EP Votematch, having showed how you would vote on issues that have passed the European Parliament, it will rank the MEPs that you agree with most. It is an interesting idea and I must say I was surprised with the results.

Across the whole Parliament I agreed most with Kristiina OJULAND an Estonian ALDE MEP. Among the Irish MEPs Marian HARKIN (Ind, ALDE) was the MEP I agreed with most.

Before you answer the questions you can get more information on the resolution and exactly how MEPs voted. So you don’t have to know everything about EU politics to use this.

It is interesting that on the website you can see how users would have voted on the questions. It makes for an interesting analysis, when more people respond.

So who is the MEP you agree with most?

FG Try Crowdsourcing Policy

The crowdsourcing process in eight steps.
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Fine Gael have today have “stood down” the party website for 3 to 4 weeks and replaced it with a crowd-sourcing site to ask the people of Ireland their view on what the Parties policies should be.

In an email to members launching the “new” site leader Enda Kenny had this to say:

Fine Gael want to invite people from all walks of life to join with us and help build our plans and ideas for the country.  We are particularly interested in your ideas on how we can clear the barriers to employment and how we can get people back to work.

To help this process Fine Gael has decided to set aside the Party website for three to four weeks and replace it with a facility for the public to contribute their ideas and thoughts on jobs, the economy, politics, the health service, and other issues.

Too often, political parties and politicians talk too much and don’t listen to what the people have to say.  It is important, now, more than ever, that the political system and politicians listen to what the Irish public have to say.

Therefore, Fine Gael will spend the coming weeks of the New Year listening to your ideas ahead of the General Election. Please visit the website at to share your thoughts and views with us, and spread the word to your friends, family, and anyone you think would like to share their views.

I am not sure what to make of it. The party has recently released loads of policies and they now void? Also the character limit of 250 characters is a bit low considering what you are asking people or should “txt spk” be used?

There is of course a video to go with it!

Enda Kenny from Fine Gael on Vimeo.

I wonder where they will go for here? And how will this work in Ireland? Its going to an experimental election I think.

PS the old website is still here

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The Green Party Sharing their mailing list?

Twice in the last week I have received e-mails from in relation to their latest campaign. Now this is not normally an issue for me, but it is because they are to my private email account. That is something I do not want.

Most press releases I receive are to the email account associated with this blog, (that is stephen(at)stephenspillane(dot)com) and I don’t mind that. That is what it is for. To receive stories, requests, ideas and press releases. All of which are gladly received to that account.

The first email arrived on the 11th of November from one of their members. So I sent back an email asking for my email to be removed from their database as I had not signed up to it, and it beings my personal account.

Today I received another email from And I was about to send another email asking me to removed when I noticed this sentence at the end of the email

This email was sent to <email address removed> from the Green Party

Why is the Green Party giving my email address to this charity? As I understand it, they are being supported by the Green Party, but why were they given my email address?

Surely that isn’t proper use of personal data?

I am very annoyed with the Green Party’s use of this data.

Note: The Green Party was given my personal account, as it was a friend who signed me up for that list with my permission.

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The Russians are taking it seriously, should we?

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Bryan highlighted this story on the BBC News website to me. The Russians seem to be taking the issue that the asteroid “Apophis” could hit the Earth.

The asteroid is 2.7 × 1010 kg in mass and is 450 metres in length. It is set to pass near Earth and hence a possible collision around 2036 or 2037. NASA has said there is a one-in-250,000 chance of it hitting in 2036 and a 1 in 12.3 million chance of it hitting in 2037.

The Russians are taking this seriously as “People’s lives are at stake,” according to Anatoly Perminov the head of Roscosmos. So they are going to try and divert it. They won’t say how.

They could use solar sails, rockets, bombs (think armageddon) among other ways.

Are they right to be worried? Do we only have 26 years left? Could we be thanking the Russians in a few years for saving our lives? Or are they just wasting money? Only time will tell!

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Should Politicians Use Twitter?

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Two recent events should be highlighted to any politician thinking of using twitter to further their electoral prospects. These two stories do serve as maybe a warning, before the commit.

Case 1: Dale v McCarthy.

This case surrounds allegations made by the Hon. Kerry McCarthy, MP for  Bristol East, about the political magazine Total Politics, which is run by tory supporting blogger Iain Dale. I shall leave it to each of them to tell their story.

As you can see, politicians have to be careful with what they say and do online! Is one over reacting? Or are both responses justified? You be the jury.

Case 2: Limburg v Schüneman

This case from the Lower Saxon State Parliament. After a debate on Aslyum Seekers, Green MP Helge Limburg called Lower Saxony’s state Interior Minister Uwe Schünemann (CDU) an “insufferable agitator” who was “shamelessly on the right-wing fringe.” (Full Story)

This when it came to light in the Lower Saxon Parliament caused uproar and discussions over the budget had to be postponed.

Is that what twitter should be used for?

So its over to you, after these anticas would you recommend that politicans use twitter?

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One for All

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So the EU Commission has gotten agreement from 10 major phone manufacturers on a common mobile phone charger.

This means people will no longer need to ask questions such as “Do you have a Nokia charger” or whatever. The common charger will be based on Mini-USB. According to the BBC there are more than 30 different types of chargers for handsets throughout Europe.

The 10 companies who have agreed to this measure are:

  • Apple
  • LG
  • Motorola
  • NEC
  • Nokia
  • Qualcomm
  • Research in Motion
  • Samsung
  • Sony Ericsson
  • Texas Instruments

Those companies account for 90% of Mobile Phone sales in the EU. I think this is good news for Consumers and well done to the Commission and in particular to Günter Verheugen, the Commissioner for Enterprise.

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TechCrunch Europas

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Techcrunch have started the voting in the Europas which according to them is

the tech innovation awards honouring the best tech companies and startups across the web and mobile scene from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The awards will be announced on the 9th of July in a ceremony in London. You can vote here in the categories.

I would like to bring your attention to a few of the nominess and ask you to vote for them.

Decisions for Heroes is nominated in the Best Social Innovation (which benefits society, EMEA) Category. Decisions for Heroes is an Irish start-up witha great future ahead of it!

Loudervoice is nominated in the Best Web Application Or Service (EMEA) Category. Loudervoice is a great review website and is on the up and up!

Best of luck to all those nominated!

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