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Monitoring MPs – making politics social

If you want track the livestream social media activity of  MPs, then the new website YatterBox will be perfect for you. It has just been launched by York University graduates and their unique site tracks all MPs’ social media: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, blogs and Hansard. It is bound to be an valuable resource for many, from constituents and political geeks, to research students and the media.

I enjoyed its data on how social our MPs really are – more Labour MPs use Twitter (44%), with Lib Dems leading on Facebook (86%), and Conservatives leading on YouTube (24%), blogging (22%) and Flickr (34%).

Congratulations to the  team behind this site. It is the clever creation of Matthew Freckleton (pic left) and Chris Etheridge, (pic right), with IT support from Richard Taylor who designed the website. I really like their strapline, “making politics social”, discovering which ones really are social media savvy, and I would like to see this launched as an app too. I also wonder how many MPs are on FourSquare, which is becoming increasingly popular.

An email from Chris outlined their vision about the website. Matthew thought up the idea during the 2010 general election when he saw the value in a site which pulls all the social media outputs of all UK MPs into one place.

Chris says: “It is believed that YatterBox will appeal to a lot of people who want to check up on what their MPs are saying and doing during elections and big issues of debates, such as the upcoming AV referendum. On other occasions, it is most likely that political enthusiasts and news companies will be its main users.”

To see the different social media outlets,  you use the filter box at the bottom right of the page; if you click on the Twitter button for example, that turns Twitter off. Likewise, if you click on the Facebook button, that turns Facebook off. You can then click on the button that you have switched off to turn it back on again.

Well done guys, and I hope you find some sponsors to support you with this great new website.


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