I've been looking around the various government sites that are on Twitter. The first one I found was the Foreign Office. Then I found Communities. Downing St has an account, all about Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson. I've decided to follow FCO - it looks interesting. I thought about following Sarah Brown, who looks quite interesting, but I didn't feel up to it.
The FCO has currently 5745 followers, and is following 5452. Communities has 3829, and is following 3896. Downing St has 1,016,522 (good for you, smashing the one million barrier, Downing St), and is following ... wait for it... 499,931. Well, good for you again Downing St, for using Twitter the way it's meant to be used, as a two way channel. And whoever does the actual tweeting sounds like a pleasant helpful sort of person (go have a look). But I do wonder about the mechanics of following half a million people. His twitter stream must be scrolling at ninety miles per hour.
Or is there maybe another explanation? Maybe all those tweets are being fed in to a computer somewhere, so Downing St can build up "a picture". Maybe it's a cunning ploy to bring the database state in through the back door. Just a thought.