[Update 13 October: Since writing this post last night I’ve written a follow-up: OMFG! Kevin Rudd tweeted again!]
Dear Mr Rudd, it’s wonderful that you’ve joined Twitter. Of course Mr Turnbull was here a month before you, but Twitter has been around more than two years. Even sceptical old me has been here a year. You’re both complete n00bs. May I offer some tips?
The first thing you must understand is that Twitter is about human communication. We already have more formula-driven spin-doctor-approved crap than we’ll ever need. What we want to see is you, Kevin, that smart hard-working control-freak slightly-daggy-but-endearing father of three. The guy who after a long day’s campaigning could still crack a joke with The Chaser crew when they turned up at your home.
This afternoon you walked into the world’s weirdest non-stop front bar cum water cooler conversation and said “Looking forward to communicating with you on Twitter”. Outstanding. And now 430+ people have turned around to pay attention, and quite a few have even said hello. More will join them. What happens next is a conversation. You’ll be judged on that conversation, not what you do elsewhere — though we’ll certainly want to talk about your work. And your pets.
And your tea towels.
I’m guessing that right now your Hollowmen are analysing every reaction to your tweet (singular), agonising over how you should respond. Tell them to piss off. You’re a grown man — you’re the Prime Minister for God’s sake! — so if you can’t talk with a fellow human when they say hello without someone advising you what to say, you might as well give up now.
Just. Be. Yourself.
The second thing, though, is that you will find it strange and challenging. And that’s OK. We all did.