Labour Draper is at it Again

11 03 2009

Derek Draper has recently returned to the Labour fold to champion their social media offensive after many years of absence.  He is a  spin doctor of the old school who seems incapable of ditching the smoke and mirrors.  He has been building a following  on twitter but his account was suspended yesterday as a result of unusual activity, which usually means you have been breaking twitter rules in terms of the number of people that you are trying to follow. In effect spamming.

He however appears to be suggesting that it didn’t happen, and points the finger at political bloggers Ian Dale and Guido “they are saying that my account is supended, which it isn’t.”  Well it may not be now but it was.  Now that he is back in twitter fold it would be interesting to see how many people the spinmeister is following who are not following him back.  What would be a reasonable figure, 20, 50, 100 or even 500? As of this moment @DerekDraper is following 1551 who are not following him. Smells of spam to me. What all politicos need to realise when they are operating in the social web is that it is all in public.  Put away the mirrors and spare us the smoke.

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31 responses

11 03 2009
thelocalgovernmentofficer

I don’t have a twitter (maybe I should get one, but that’s another issue), but can someone explain how following people is spam? Surely it’s up to them whether they follow you back? I can see from my vague understanding of how it works that @joebloggs-ing all the time might be spam, or #makemoneyfast, but surely the point that he’s more follower than followed proves precisely that it doesn’t have to be reciprocal?

11 03 2009
someone

thelocalgovernmentofficer – Most people will always check the page of someone following them and most people have the default setting of being emailed about each person that starts following them so following large numbers of people is an effective way of drawing attention to yourself and whatever you’re saying. When it’s automated and he clearly isn’t reading these people and all he’s doing is trying to get the attention of Dale and Guido’s readers, it’s spam.

12 03 2009
thelocalgovernmentofficer

I see, thanks. It’s still not very good spam, is it – if you’re the sort of person who wants to read Derek Draper’s twitter you probably already know it exists… oh I don’t know!

12 03 2009
Dual Citizen

…. and as soon as he’d followed all of Iain Dale’s followers (including me), he tweeted this.

That’s what I call spam!

12 03 2009
Chris Paul

Interested in the high return of speculation for the little input of evidence of this “story”. Draper is back on Twitter. There is no evidence I can find on why his service/feed was interrupted. And the likes of Guido (especially Guido) use their Twitter feeds for one of he great NO NOs of the Twitter rules. They refuse to post any info on what they’re doing as intended. They simply post links to their blogs. To be fair that’s what I do myself, most of the time.

Also interested in the parallel between Draper’s wading into the medium and trying to get lots of followers very quickly with Iain Dale’s early steps in establishing his blog – which he has done extremely successfully – with one of his biggest tactics the usual “link swap” carried to an industrial level. Following and being followed in the last decade’s social medium of choice.

Now most of the reciprocal links are no more as Iain has restricted his outward links offering, though most of the incoming links are still no doubt incoming.

This “Draper’s been sanctioned” story is just that … a story. He’s back with the same kind of followed/follower ratio and there is no sign whatsoever of any sanction.

12 03 2009
Derek Draper

This is one of the most pathetic and sloppy things yet written in an attempt to slag me off on the internet. What I do is follow people who seem interested in politics, of course that means I draw their attention to me. What is wrong with that? They then CHOOSE to follow me IF THEY WANT TO. What is wrong with that? It is not done automatically. They have chosen to follow me so to say it is spam means you don’t even know what spam is. Some expert! It seems you guys just don’t like someone Labour and new to the web getting it, and doing it better than the so-called “experts” who have written books about it all. Well get used to it, because as well as being the No. 1 political twitterer because people WANT to follow me, http://www.LabourList.org is going from strength to strength as well. Rob, looks like you too have a case of… http://twitpic.com/204jk. If not then correct your silly analysis and aplogise for calling me a spammer.

12 03 2009
Derek Draper

oh and thanks for telling us that social media is transparent. will there be more revelatory insights like that in your book?

12 03 2009
The Ink Slinger

Dual Citizen,

Comedy gold!

12 03 2009
Dual Citizen

Well Rob, seeing from Dolly’s rantings you’ve hit the nail on the head. And he’s just tried trashing you on Twitter. Congratulations!

12 03 2009
Judith Haire

All this energy which could be better used to make sure the Tories don’t get in. Let people tweet and follow who they want, or not, it’s not spamming and life’s really too short

12 03 2009
Rob Brown

Judith I totally agree that Derek and any one else should follow who they want. It is just that twitter rules put limits on the followers. It appears that Derek broke the rules and there is plenty of evidence that his account was suspended. Why make such a fuss about it? Just admit the mistake and move on.

12 03 2009
Derek Draper

ah! as well as not getting social media you don’t know how to do PR. backtracking already? pathetic. if i have broken any rules why am i not supended now? simple question. what’s your answer PR expert?

12 03 2009
Judith Haire

Thanks Rob for clarifying that one.

12 03 2009
Toby T

Derek you are clearly a spammer, although judging by your agressive rants i can think of something else you should be called!

12 03 2009
Jon Harvey

Eh?! – storm in a teacup methinks! – there are precious few facts or evidence flying around here – just lots of flim flam.

I follow Derek on twitter – I tracked him down. This was before he started (and then stopped) following me. (Obviously I am too boring!! My twitters are about what I am doing and I am not a hardened hack – just someone working as an adviser to the public services: Quick advert for ~my~ blog: http://smallcreativeideas.blogspot.com/). But all this is just a bit of fun in my opinion – and ranks with changing some painter’s dates of birth and death in my opinion!!

Where is the real political debate going on? Is there a blog where all parts of the political spectrum can have some good discussions without it descending into flaming…? I guess not.

Oh well!

12 03 2009
Derek Draper

rob, what rule did i break? you are making assumptions here based on no knowledge. if i have done something wrong why am i not suspended now. i follow people. they follow me. in fact over 3000 CHOOSE to follow me. how many choose to follow rob the lib dem “expert”? oh, less than half that. no wonder you’re suffering from… http://twitpic.com/204jk

12 03 2009
hovedan

this criticism of derek draper seems to be politically motivated. why not just say you dont like his politics – you are a lib dem, hes a labour man – you dont like his views – but surely social media is an opportunuity for debate and not for personal slagging. you need to get a bit of perspective young man

12 03 2009
Rob Brown

Derek, I presume you broke this rule http://twitter.zendesk.com/forums/10711/entries/15364 unless you can give a better explanation as to why your account was suspended.

Hovedan, I’m not involved with the LibDems or any political party and this isn’t motivated by a political view it is motivated by my views on spin vs transparency.

12 03 2009
Derek Draper

umm… i don’t know. i did follow quite a few people, and many of them then CHOSE to follow me. the point is i am not suspended now, so twitter must have judged that i have not broken their rules. can you respond to my other points regarding spam ie if i choose to follow people and people choose to follow me how is that spam, it is in fact social media networking is it not?

12 03 2009
Rob Brown

If you follow a lot of people who are not following you it is generally regarded as spamming them – or hoping that they will follow you back to build your follower numbers non-organically. As of this morning you were following 1499 people who weren’t following you back.

12 03 2009
Jon Harvey

Rob – how do you know that – is there some facility on Twitter which means you can make that calculation. At the moment Derek is following 2831and being followed by 3179. This means he is at least being followed by 348 people who he is not following – assuming all the people he follows are also following him. Where do you get 1499 from?

12 03 2009
Rob Brown

Jon, because of twitter’s open API policy there are various separate applications available that will give you this information and much more. Various people have posted to say that the have been followed then after they follow back they are unfollowed by Derek.

12 03 2009
Jon Harvey

But in the end – Derek is still live on Twitter – he has lots of followers – and whatever the rules are – he is clearly exploiting them well… I guess? Heck – I was banned once from the Guardian Talk pages. Many of us Web2 practitioners have run foul of some of these rules sometimes… I still fail to understand what the fuss is all about. Or are you trying to get Derek to fess up in the way that the opposition are insisting on Gordon Brown saying sorry for getting the ~World~ into the sorry economic state we are now in??

12 03 2009
Derek Draper

rob, who says if you follow people that’s spamming you? in your book? i follow people who seem interested in politics, they then CHOOSE to follow me or NOT, i then decide after a while, if I want to continue following them, they presumably do likewise. so what if 1499 are not following me? – that’s their choice and is precisely my point? what is really your problem with this? you wanted to have a go at me and now you realise you’ve made a mountain out of a molehill and showed an ignorance of how social networking actually works rather than how it sounds on fancy presentations to clients ;)?

12 03 2009
Derek Draper

PS You should read this from the grassroots, you might learn something:

http://aprogressiveviewpoint.blogspot.com/

12 03 2009
Rob Brown

Derek, thanks for the helpful advice and you have demonstrated your social media expertise and skills of persuasion exceptionally clearly. I think we should conclude before(!) we bore people. Best R.

12 03 2009
bensix

…who says if you follow people that’s spamming you? in your book?

Well…

“Posting links to Twitter is great and we encourage people to do so. However, spammers are posting links on a whole different scale and they’re doing something else we call Aggressive Following. This behavior entails following thousands of other accounts in the hope of reciprocation.”

12 03 2009
The Ink Slinger

“this criticism of derek draper seems to be politically motivated.”

Yes….and?

We don’t like his politics.

13 03 2009
Top Posts « WordPress.com

[…] Labour Draper is at it Again Derek Draper has recently returned to the Labour fold to champion their social media offensive after many years of […] […]

13 03 2009
Paul Seaman

The British National Party (BNP) is thrashing the mainstream parties – but only online. This says as much about the internet as it does about politics, and I don’t think the mainstream should overdo its response. For those interested there’s more on my PR blog here:

http://paulseaman.eu/2009/03/the-web-suits-the-bnp-better-than-the-mainstream/

8 12 2009
Are Online Spats the New Marketing? » pr-media-blog.co.uk

[…] March this year I had a digital dispute with Derek Draper then architect of Labour’s social media strategy. This was weeks before the Damien McBride […]

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