I left Twitter about three months ago. I never really “got”Twitter. At Rostrevor, on Friday night it seemed most people have a Twitter account. I signed up again last night.
In fairness to Twitter, it does what it says onthe tin. People “follow” and are”followed”. Facebook has “friends”, misleading word. For the record, I have two live FB accounts…one for personal friends and the other for political friends. For most people involved in Politics or Blogging, FB is almost compulsory but I just cant warm to it. I see no point in having 3,418 “friends” across the political spectrum. It is childish and is really more about collecting names. It seems like a hobby in which political advisors indulge…the number of the cross-party friendships being some kinda sign of Sophistication.
In all these “friends” lists, there is a hard core of movers and shakers, the usual suspects who are not quite politicians but perceived to be more influential than actual politicians. Good people to know if you are a student looking for a career or an internship. Useful for your CV. Its networking…and I hate it.
I probably have less than 25 people in my FB political friends account. I suppose the most I ever had was about 75 and never really made a point of collecting names…important and self-important movers and shakers. Indeed the biggest buzz I ever got on Facebook was rejecting an “add me” request from a man who is at the very core of moving and shaking. And it still gives me a buzz that I avoid eye contact with him at various vol au vent events. No easy way to say this…I just dont like him.
Thats the thing with Networking. Its too much Compromise. And I am just not very good at that. Nor am I totally at ease at vol au vent events.
“Fitzjames Horse” is an unlikely nom de guerre for a 21st century blogger. In one form or another, I have used it for over a decade, mostly on history related sites where it makes more sense. And I have used it since I joined Slugger O’Toole in January 2010. The interesting thing about a pseudonym is that it accidently invites people to guess an identity. Thus I enjoyed the Alliance eejit on Slugger who outed me as Brian Feeney….its not my job to correct such impressions.
And seemingly my 2010 posts on Slugger made the position of one SDLP staffer uncomfortable as he was often assumed to be a mole.
By November 2010, I had probably enjoyed two years on the vol au vent circuit, completely unknown and blogging on My Space or Blogger in an irregular way. At a fringe meeting at the 2010 SDLP Conference, I was photographed in the middle of a question and I laughed it off saying “please dont photograph me…I am an internationally known blogger” Afterwards he asked me who I was and I told him and his reaction was complimentary. Seemingly SDLP….for the most part…liked what I wrote on Slugger.
It encouraged me enough to introduce myself to an amused Mick Fealty a few weeks later. I had booked into a Slugger organised event under an assumed name. A bit weird. Actually VERY weird. But the thing is that all bloggers are “straw men” and the pseudonyms are really the most interesting thing about us. As Dorothy and her companions discovered, the Wizard of Oz is really an old man with a booming microphone hiding behind a screen. “Fitzjames Horse” is an old man with a headset hiding behind a computer screen.
Thankfully “Keeping An Eye on the Czar of Russia” is more successful than I could have dreamed more eighteen months ago. Ironically I actually enjoyed vol-au-vent type function there.
But usually Im a bit of a wallflower in Networking situations. These Receptions, Seminars, Launches are really more about coffee and vol-au-vents than they are about the actual advertised subject. Two kinda people attend….those who need to network and those who dont. Its a peculiar food chain….target a person that you might find useful to know and that person will already be looking beyond you to someone that he will find much more useful to know.
I tended to use Twitter and Facebook to announce blogs to a wider public. I have not done this in months. No real need as I find that my Blog reaches the people I want it to reach.
This is a pan-nationalist blog. I dont think that I have ever used the words “Stoop” and “Shinner”. I think that nationalism is better served by two parties rather than one. And we need a better parity between SDLP and Sinn Fein. I dont see any new genuinely centrist unionist Party as a threat. Indeed its possibly complimentary. The problem there is that liberal unionism has never really delivered. But it will be interesting to see how many votes they take from the Alliance Party…..that would be a real service to Nationalism and indeed Democracy.