Wednesday, July 21, 2010...9:37 am

Tameside Council blocks microbloggers – because they get the story

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Tameside Council has declined to provide “Twitter accreditation” to bloggers and other citizens – thus supposedly preventing them from reporting via social media from council meetings.

It seems the council is much more comfortable with the idea of “professional journalists” covering its activities. Could this be that they are less of a threat?

The Daily Telegraph has reported on a classic waste-of-Council-Tax-payers’ money by Tameside Council.

It seems the trend-following IT geeks at Tameside spent £36,000 on setting up a Second Life environment to reach “hard-to-reach” groups, such as the disabled and the young.

As one might expect, the project was started in May 2008, just after the buzz about Second Life as the next big thing started to subside. The project, which only went live in January 2009, was finally killed in March this year.

So, which tenacious news reporter dug up this story? Apparently, local “blogger” (read: “not journalist”) Liam Billington, who reported it after getting the facts from a Freedom of Information request.

It’s actually nice of the Telegraph to credit him halfway down the story. But for the record, he’s technically a “microblogger”, as a search for the crusading blog only uncovers the Twitter page for Liam Billington. Which is presumably why the Council want to block him from their meetings.

He does the job properly, you see…

[HT: Soilman]

[UPDATE: Liam Billington has emailed to note that he did have a blog – Tameside Eye – but it’s on hiatus as he pursues other interests…]


  • I don’t mind the council’s attempt at trying something different or even the £36k they spent doing it. [My dad’s a ratepayer, even if I’m not] The project may have started in 2008, but I can imagine how many committee hoops would have to be jumped through up to that point. And over six months to implement for the same reason. Unless local government of all kinds learns to trust someone down the budgetary food chain with projects like this they will always miss the boat.

  • Billington, the man who brought down the council? I think not – more like Billington the man who generated so little interest in his blog that he conveniently stopped posting only to go on posting his tripe on the TPA blog … but like his old blog it looks like Billington still hasn’t got the hang of telling the truth or doing some real research… shame really.

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