Wednesday, June 23, 2010

#spill is not just for oil

I had a bit of a personal upset in my life today. A quite major personal upset. Not for this forum.

I was mindlessly watching some TV and waiting to speak to someone in my family about the upset while mindlessly flicking through my Twitter stream. I saw #spill, and didn't really understand, but didn't pay much attention until I realised that it was a leadership battle the likes of which haven't been seen in this country since 1991. Coincidentally, an ad had just been shown on Channel 10 for the new show Hawke highlighting the leadership battle between Hawke and Keating in the 1990s. Tonight's drama is in some ways more acute than that, as it was unexpected (Gillard has not been grumpily waiting in the wings for years while Rudd promises her the mantle yet refuses to pass it on) and she was, at least at the outset, refusing it.

It seems now that there will be a leadership battle vote in the morning, which I'm sure will be over by the time you read this, but the real fun of this whole thing - apart from the possibility of having a female Prime Minister with red hair - is the instantaneous information spreading through Twitter.

Everyone else is going to write about this better than me, I'm sure, but for me it was a very "where were you when" moment, and great to be at the coalface knowing more about what was going on from the tweets than was on the TV and other news media. When I finally got to talk to the family member I was waiting to talk to, I mentioned the breaking news to him, and he was distracted from his troubles for some time while he checked Twitter and saw that Rudd, Gillard, and #spill were worldwide trending topics, even beating #ifihadapenis.

Thanks to stellar journalists like @
annabelcrabb and other ABC online journalists who keep the tweet stream awash with information, live blogging from the punch, and of course #lateline.


  1. Trying to write it up properly but can't channel the muse.

  2. I seem to get most of my political news from Twitter and blogs now.