Twitter: The new church basement

First of all, I’m a numbers guy. When I saw a post from Fraser Strategies saying that my former MP had left Twitter, I wanted to crunch the numbers.

The NDP member of parliament for Timmins-James Bay, Charlie Angus, had in fact, left Twitter. I’m not disappointed in Angus, or his advisors, but I am disappointed for the 4,441 (and growing!) of us who followed him on Twitter. Here are a few numbers on what this means.

4,441 : followers on Twitter

54 : people he was following on Twitter

81,957 : population of the Timmins-James Bay riding

246,275.67 : square kilometers in the riding

24  : number of people he visited during a 90 minute town hall meeting

Expanding on some of these numbers, if Angus is to allow his constituents to ask him questions directly, in groups of 24 participants, it would take him roughly 3,415 visits. In 90 minute meetings, working 12 hour days, it would take him roughly 426 days to meet with these constituents.

Now, I commend Angus for joining Twitter and representing his constituents and especially, for the awareness he built through Twitter for the residents in Attawapiskat. However, the irony in his leaving Twitter,I will leave as fodder for the Twitterverse.

Finally, for anyone participating in Twitter, it serves as a reminder that Twitter is not a megaphone on top of a hill, it’s a really big church basement.