Birmingham City Council progressively decided that they would livestream their local election results, which was more of an invitation than us politically-interested twitters needed to provide a ‘backchannel’. Having decided to base round the hashtag #brumcc (a few test tweets fired off as people voted in the day), it all kicked off around 10.25 with a very geeky moan about the format for the streaming (Windows Movie Player) and the standard of the the sound (there was a problem with the gain on the wireless mic I think).
The actual conversation bounced between pub-style debate, willful surrealism, and the kind of listening and reacting to the actual words that microblogging really helps â€” collating the “did he really just say that?” factor between other viewers rather than waiting for the host to pick the politician up.
Four hours of it made us all flag, but it really was a worthwhile experience and in two years (when the local elections come around again) I really hope the council harness the conversation in some way too. It doesn’t have to be twitter (which, considering the UK local elections borked it, may not be around) but it was really powerful – and if publicised widely could be really useful.