The lives of Scarborough councillors–in 140 characters or less

Twitter marked its fifth birthday this week.

In that handful of years since its launch, it seems everyone’s jumped aboard the social media juggernaut: celebrities (and their imposters), businesses and even fictional characters have joined the 140-character-limited microblogging site.

And so have politicians.

In 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama was tweeting before winning the U.S. presidential election. Closer to home, Mayor Rob Ford and about 24 Toronto city councillors have Twitter accounts.

Scarborough councillors who use the site include Paul Ainslie, Michael Thompson and Norm Kelly.

Kelly says tweeting does not come naturally, yet he is giving it his best shot.

“I’m taking a stab at it,” he said. “We’re so interested in what others have to say, it’s almost hive-like.”

Most of Kelly’s tweets centre on his personal life.

A tweet from Kelly on March 8 read: “Played a lot of hide and go seek with my granddaughter over the weekend. My favourite role was tickle lion.”

Along the same lines, a tweet from Ainslie just two days before read: “Build LEGO with our sons or read City of TO Council agenda…..hmmmm…boys win!!”

But it’s not all personal. Despite having an account during the last municipal election, Kelly didn’t tweet during the campaign.

“I didn’t want to let the opposition know what I was up to,” he said.

It’s a different story with the election now in the past. Kelly called the experience he’s had with his constituents via Twitter communal.

“The people who use it collectively have one mind,” he said. “We’re living like bees.”

Kelly is enjoying his time on Twitter so far, he said.

“I’m having fun with it right now,” he said. “If the fun goes, I’d probably drop it.”

About this article

By: James Wattie
Posted: Mar 23 2011 10:24 am
Filed under: Arts & Life