@KevinRuddPM isn’t really Kevin

Twitter avatar of @KevinRuddPM

I’m not particularly surprised to discover that the Prime Minister’s Twitter presence isn’t really Kevin Rudd but a minion of some kind.

I’ve already written about this [1, 2], and will doubtless write again, but I figure today’s the day they really do need to sort out how they’re going to use this Twitter account.

Are they talking in first person like “I’m on my way to the G20…” or the third like “We think getting 700 followers in 7 hours + following back caused us to crash“? How will they respond to the massive return traffic, making sure everyone feels like they’ve been heard while not sounding like a robot?

Why wasn’t this written up on the site before the account went live? After all, those basic ground rules would have been negotiated well before the PM approved the idea, wouldn’t they?

I’m still not convinced by this “we crashed Twitter” line either. Al Gore joined Twitter the other day and was getting 2000+ adds an hour. It coped fine then. I don’t see why it wouldn’t cope now. Linkage please, Prime Minister’s Minion!

I’m also surprised that they seem to be stumbling a bit, even by rolling out the account while the PM’s travelling. Surely they’d have hired an expert for such a public activity?

Is it really so wrong to mix business and politics (and religion)?

So last week Apple announced new products. Yawn. The Cult of Apple worshipped their God, and millions of words were written praising His Wisdom. However the most interesting comment I’ve read so far was about the political content of Steve Jobs’ presentation.

Alastair Rankine writes that the Macworld Keynote has moved from slick-but-reality-distorted marketing into the realms of straight-out entertainment, and then criticises Randy Newman’s performance. Not because it was crap (which, being Randy Newman, is inevitable), but because it was political.

Criticism of the Bush administration is something I obviously have a lot of time for. But is it suitable for a consumer product launch? …

Mix politics with business and you take a risk with a relatively small upside but a big downside. If your politics match mine, we are no more likely to do business together than before we knew each other’s positions. But if our politics disagree, this difference becomes a barrier that we each have to overcome in order to do business together.

I’m not arguing for censorship or anything. I’m just saying that the separation of politics and business is crucial for the success of both.

I disagree.

Business is about making money, yes, but sometimes I think it’s wrong to “leave politics at the door”. In fact, is it even possible?

Continue reading “Is it really so wrong to mix business and politics (and religion)?”

Rudd’s +2 charisma roll: thanks, Al!

Photographs of Kevin Rudd with Al Gore, and John Howard with George W Bush

Al Gore’s Nobel Peace Prize is like a Magic Cloak of Invincibility. Now anyone wanting to criticise him had better have all of their ducks in a row — feathers freshly preened and all lined up like the North Korean Army — before they dare open their mouths.

And, through the magic of televisual political frottage, Kevin Rudd gets a +2 on his charisma too, since he’s been seen wandering Melbourne with The Big Al himself, quietly discussing… well, discussing something anyway. Does it matter exactly what?

Kevin Rudd knows Al Gore! AL GORE! He must be cool!

Since the US of A is our best friend and protector, mentor and high-tech stuff salesman, these pairings of potential PM with an Important American define our future.

We have Kevin Rudd, the quiet and unassuming Supernerd who can crack jokes with the president of China in his own language. Next to Kevin we have Al Gore, who everyone knows through that movie.

OK, some people want to spoil the fun by pointing out a few errors, but hey we all got the message.

Al Gore hasn’t yet said whether he’ll run for President, but former president and Nobel Laureate Jimmy Carter is behind him.

And then we have the Man of Steel and his submissive relationship with the Lame Duck President, digging up coal and uranium and oil and gas and whatever else they can find and selling it as fast as they can. Dubya is on the nose politically and has been for months, and the Man of Steel is making up policy on the fly.

Gee, there’s a choice, eh?