Twitter will be my first port of call on election night, starting at 10pm and continuing until my reddened eyes close and my iPhone, open at the Tweetie Twitter app, falls out of my hand and lies still on the floor till its back-lit screen flickers off. Given the big role the micro-blogging site has played in the run-up: pushing news stories (#phillipastroud), creating some potent memes and hashtags and generally acting as a brilliant news compiler.
Chuck in the fact that Twitter updates every second, – it will be on fire (metaphorically) on election night.
The best way to follow a breaking news event on Twitter is to search for a particular hashtag and just let updates from all over the site filter into your screen. The best comments and links get retweeted a lot so don’t worry about missing them.
TOP UK ELECTION TWITTER HASHTAGS
#ukelection – yup pretty straightforward, think most people will be using this.
#GE2010 – slightly shorter than #ukelection, thus slightly better.. more room for pith. But while of course it’s short for General Election 2010, it sounds like the name of a robot so it might be less active.
#GE10 – even shorter yet.
#nickcleggsfault – an oldie, but a goodie, there might be some occasions which merit the use of this. See how it was used before
#philippastroud – the tory parliamentary candidate’s name trended on twitter on Tuesday 4th March after Observer revealed she thought gay people had demons in them. if she gets in I reckon we can expect a flurry of tweets on this hashtag again.
#toryfail – obviously a popular one among non-tories, this is probably one to check for labour/lib dem supporters.
Expect also #labour; #conservative; #libdem; #brown; #cameron; #clegg.
Full list of constituency hashtags here
#ukvote + the first half of your postcode will let @tweetminister create an unofficial exit poll..
#justinbieber – no only kidding.
It’s fairly certain new ones will crop up during the election depending on how votes swing.
TOP PEOPLE TO FOLLOW ON TWITTER FOR THE UK ELECTIONS
Okay, you’ll want to follow some proper political sources:
Alan Iannucci (political satirist and writer of The Thick of It) – @AIannucci
Charlie Brooker (Guardian columnist, he may just be playing computer games, but might add some interesting light on the whole thing) – @charltonbrooker
Caitlin Moran (well I’ll be following her, I think she’s great) – @caitlinmoran
Tom Watson (Labour MP and technophile) – @tom_watson
Iain Dale (conservative commentator) – @iaindale
Malcolm Tucker (another graduate of political satirical TV in the Thick of It) – @therealmalcomtucker
Sarah Brown (Gordon’s wife, she’s a twitter star) – @sarahbrown10
John Prescott (former Labour Deputy PM, he’s a laugh on Twitter apparently) – @johnprescott
Add any other recommendations in the comments..