Can You Help?

This website is in imminent danger of being shut down. It has been online since 1995, but the personal circumstances of the owner, Malcolm Farnsworth, are such that economies have to be made. Server costs and suchlike have become prohibitive. At the urging of people online, I have agreed to see if Patreon provides a solution. More information is available at the Patreon website. If you are able to contribute even $1.00/month to keep the site running, please click the Patreon button below.


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2013 Federal Election Count – Twitter LIVE BLOG

AustralianPolitics.com will live blog the federal election results tonight via Twitter.

My Twitter feed is embedded on this page. You can message me through it or your own Twitter account.

This page will be updated later tonight with details of the election results.



Alternative Universes And The PNG Solution

Alternative universes abounded last night.

But sometimes the media worlds available via a remote control are more alike than they are willing to pretend.

There was the ABC. Within an hour of Kevin Rudd’s announcement of the PNG solution, its screen was filled with refugee advocates castigating the decision. They were joined by frothing right-wingers in an unholy unity ticket of condemnation.

Online, in the ever-so-slightly-nutty world of Twitter, there was talk of White Australia, racism and Labor’s shame. Dire warnings of malaria and rape coalesced with suddenly-expert analyses of the state of civil society in PNG.

Some lamented the shape-shifting Rudd and yearned for The Great Gillard.

There was Sky News, sadly these days a paradise for ever-more vacuous right-wing talk show hosts and those cable-friendly Laborites who make you worry that you might be on the same side.

As on the ABC, the resident Liberals and standalone right-wingers were especially lathered and frenzied. Last night they were born-again campaigners for the down-trodden. They accepted the solution but despaired of its implementation.

I felt somewhat alone. In my foolishness, I thought I might just have witnessed a political masterstroke. Commentators online suggested otherwise. I should be more ashamed, they seemed to say. [Read more…]


Gillard Announces Agreement With Social Networking Sites Over Cyberbullying

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has announced that the government has reached an agreement with social networking sites over complaint handling, particularly in relation to cyberbullying.

The agreement commits companies such as Facebook, Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft to develop robust processes for dealing with complaints and to undertake education and awareness raising activities. Gillard called on Twitter to join the agreement. [Read more…]


Murdoch And Turnbull Tweet About Guns

Rupert Murdoch’s tweet earlier today and Malcolm Turnbull’s reply tonight need little explanation.

Although you do have to wonder how many other shadow ministers would engage like this. Or ministers.

Tweets


ABC Puts News24 Channel On YouTube

The ABC has put its 24-hour news channel, News24, on YouTube, as part of its strategy to integrate its offerings into social media.

News24 can now be integrated into YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. The ABC says: “It means users no longer need to leave these platforms to access the live ABC News 24 stream online.”

The YouTube service also enables third party websites such as this one to stream News24:

News24 is also streaming in higher quality on the ABC’s website at http://www.abc.net.au/news/abcnews24/.

Text of media statement from the ABC.

ABC News 24: Breaking New Ground In Social Media

In an Australian first, ABC News 24 is integrating the channel’s live news and other programs into YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, so viewers can watch live news within their favourite social network. It means users no longer need to leave these platforms to access the live ABC News 24 stream online.

From today, ABC News 24 can be watched live within YouTube, Facebook and Twitter with ‘YouTube live streaming’ at: http://bit.ly/abcnewsnow. [Read more…]


At Royal Ascot, Black Caviar Wins Her 22nd Race

Well, it’s important political news, isn’t it?

The Twitter hashtag #BlackCaviar went berserk before, during and after the race. This is a short video I took of my TweetDeck screen. At its peak it was twice as fast as this. In four years of Twitter use, I can’t recall any topic attracting such volume and speed of posts.



Eight Observations About How I Use Twitter

1. MY TWITTER BACKGROUND

I joined Twitter in April 2008 – thanks @RicRaftis. Like most people, I didn’t know what to do with it and for several months I barely went near it. When I did, I tweeted about technology and the internet.

TwitterThen I started tweeting about Australian and American politics. Later in the year, I began tweeting Question Time, political speeches, press conferences and other media appearances by politicians.

At the time, as far as I knew, no-one else was doing this. Most media people were yet to discover Twitter. Politicians were all but unseen. I often felt I was talking to myself.

Around this time, I began to make contact with people besides PR, marketing and internet types. Bloggers with an interest in politics were flocking to Twitter, as were many others.

The big moment came in March 2009 when I tweeted the Queensland election results. I simply sat at my desk at home with the Queensland Electoral Commission website open and the ABC’s Queensland television feed streaming online. Hundreds of new followers came my way that night and I ended up on commercial radio commenting on the results. It opened my eyes to Twitter’s potential.

I decided I needed a consistent approach so I stopped tweeting about technology and internet issues and made politics my focus. I noticed that Twitter was driving traffic to my main website, AustralianPolitics.com.

By mid-2009, my current approach to Twitter was firmly established. Each night when I sat down to read the next morning’s newspapers online, a ritual I’d followed for years, I would tweet links and occasional comments to articles I thought were worth reading for one reason or another. I was curating content. [Read more…]


The Twitter Election? Not Likely.

There is much over-blown talk of new paradigms at the moment.

TwitterBefore the 43rd Parliament has even met, the new political paradigm has been shown to be illusory. Standard politics continues apace. An old-fashioned deal has delivered us a minority government. Interest groups and political participants have begun positioning themselves to extract maximum advantage from the new Parliament.

Far from the political process becoming more open and transparent, it is more likely that backroom intrigue will flourish. Intricate deal-making seems set to reach new heights of ingenuity. The numerical permutations and combinations in both houses guarantee that practitioners of the so-called old paradigm will be called upon to ensure that things do not fall apart.

Another paradigm that has failed to materialise is the one that was supposed to deliver a “Twitter election” and usher in a new democracy powered by “social media”. Instead, the golden age of 140-character political participation has been clubbed to death by the established media and all but ignored by the main political parties. [Read more…]


Day 19: Return To Norwood

Norwood Secondary College sits amongst acres of residential housing along Mullum Mullum Road, not far from the creek of the same name. This is Ringwood, just up the road from the giant Eastland shopping complex, and the centre of the electorate of Deakin, the Melbourne electorate held by the slender margin of 1.4% by the Labor Party’s Mike Symon.

It’s familiar territory for me. I taught here over twenty years ago. Returning today, I wonder whether the oval still floods when it rains. I note the familiar buildings, some now with assorted improvements and extensions. Students at recess mingle in groups, some sitting on the concrete outside the library, others leaning against fences and buildings. The atmosphere is calm and orderly. Norwood was always a “good school”.

A small number of former colleagues still work here. Mick Wilson, a 35-year veteran of the school, jokes that’s he found my unwashed coffee mug in the cupboard above the staffroom sink. Rosemary Homersham greets me a kiss. I scan the staff photo for familiar faces and then chat to a young English teacher who would have been in kindergarten when I was last here. [Read more…]


ALP Entering A Brave New Internet World

The online world was abuzz yesterday afternoon with discussion of the Laurie Oakes question to Julia Gillard at the National Press Club.

Labor Connect?What really happened at the now famous meeting in Rudd’s office on the night of June 23? Oakes’s question indicated someone had been talking.

Political aficionados on Twitter speculated as to the identity of his source. Journalists opined on the dangers of making assumptions about leaks. Partisans defended Gillard or decried her treachery. The twitterati revelled in one of those made-for-social-networking moments.

In the midst of this anarchic discussion, as conversation threads came and went, the General Secretary of the NSW ALP, Matt Thistlethwaite, posted a tweet that said: “Check out Australian Labor’s new social network space, an Oz political first. [Read more…]