Tweeters urge others to join trend

By Kiri Gillespie

People need to accept social media like Twitter or be left behind, say some of the Western Bay of Plenty's most prolific tweeters.

In an unscientific survey of the Bay's top tweeters, individuals, businesses and a politician featured highly.

Luke Chandler tweeted as regularly as he ate and he didn't anticipate on letting up anytime soon.

The 20-year-old former Tauranga resident has just spent a month holidaying in his hometown, and continued to tweet three times a day despite his summer break.

"I do it daily, it's regular. If I don't, I'm either asleep or... I don't know what else," he says.

Mr Chandler is one of the Western Bay of Plenty's most prolific tweeters. About 900 people follow his account and what he has to say.

"It varies everyday, just depending on what's happening - politics, events," he says.

"I have another profile as well... I'm standing for council for Christchurch this year so that's going to be used a lot on my profile."

Mr Chandler said he followed about 200 fellow tweeters, with New Zealand comedian Guy Williams being a favourite because "he's pretty funny".

Twitter was the way forward for a lot of businesses and media, and if people didn't pick it up they would be left behind, he said.

Self-confessed Twitter fanatic Rosie McCormack said the social media tool was "totally underutilised".

Ms McCormack has 267 followers, and follows 275 herself - Barrack Obama and Sea Shepherd were among her favourites - but New Zealand was behind the times when it came to Twitter, she said.

"Everybody's on it overseas. They even discuss it in magazines, 'Who's Twittered what'.

"When the Rena happened for instance, we were seeing pictures from helicopters that flew over before they were on the TV news."

Tauranga MP Brendan Horan was also an avid Twitter user, commenting on happenings and events three to four times a day.

Mr Horan said he preferred Twitter over other social media sites because it was quick and easily accessible, "and it's another form of communication".

Mr Horan said he tweeted about a whole range of topics, depending on the day.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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