In the news

18th December 2009 at 00:00
Michael McTimoney

Who is he?

Michael McTimoney, 32, has taught ICT at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College in Darlington for seven years. The council has chosen him as Darlington's official tweeter on the social networking site Twitter, keeping the town's e-community up to date with local news and events.

What's it all about?

"I've been tweeting since earlier this year," he says. "The council set up a site that pulls YouTube videos, pictures and forms of media together for its residents. It's called the Darlington Experiment. It put out a call for Darlington's most prolific tweeter, and I got the role."

Tweeting is a paid gig then?

"It's all quite informal but I get paid #163;140 a year. It's linked to the amount of characters you can type in one tweet."

So he combines it with a real career?

"I aim to tweet once a day, although I'm doing more than that. It's primarily about getting into conversations and building a profile of the area. I try not to tweet about work, though - I'm quite careful. Social networking sites are a sore subject at the moment as a teenager from the town was recently killed after she met a stranger on Facebook."

What else does he tweet about?

"I met other people on there who were into mountain bikes, like me. We started working on a film called Beauty and the Bike. It's by a German film-maker who looked at the difference between female teenagers in England and Germany using bikes. Girls in Germany use them much more. There was a lot of discussion and tweeting about it."

Must fit in nicely with the ICT day job?

"No. It's blocked at work. But we're looking into introducing social networking sites as the kids are always on them. A couple of my colleagues follow. I returned to work on Monday after the official launch day to find a sign on my office door which reads 'Twitter Resident'."


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