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Tuesday 31 March 2015

Sun Nation Is A Flop

Rather a lot of Rupe’s downmarket troops at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun are at present working on the free-to-read SunNation website. This entails them churning out a relentless dirge of Tory-supporting and Labour-bashing copy, which is masquerading as fun and accessible ways to attract the less politically-minded. Thus, the followers of Creepy Uncle Rupe will, so they assume, help Young Dave back into Number 10.
But, as Captain Blackadder might have observed, there was only one thing wrong with this idea - it was bollocks. One look at the SunNation Twitter feed is all you need to tell you that all is not well with the latest Murdoch wheeze: less than 4,330 followers this morning, compared to, well, Zelo Street with 5,690 at the same time. All I have in support is my laptop and a blog: SunNation has News UK backing it.

Sure, SunNation is adding Twitter followers reasonably well: my information is that it puts on around 50 a day. But that, extrapolated through to polling day, would still only give it 6,180 by that point. By comparison, the Tories’ @cchqpress account has around 31,500 followers, Labour’s @labourpress has over 61,000, and even the Lib Dems’ @libdempress has 19,000. Small Twitter presence, small effect on the Twittersphere.

The calibre of the hacks who have been put on the case is also less than totally inspiring: take Alain Tolhurst, who describes himself asa journalist (in name), an idiot (in deed)” in a rare moment of honesty from the Murdoch shilling-takers. Or how about Emer Martin, woman of the people, part of the paper that loves to kick Labour for being out of touch with working folk, self-describing asA Mac, a coffee and avocado toast”.

And spare a thought for Georgina Stubbs, “Political geek and aspiring foreign correspondent”, who has been reduced to writing features about the world’s great politicians and diplomats … like, er, Joey Essex. SunNation has even had to rope in the Sun’s PR man Dylan Sharpe, the clown who sent unsolicited photos of a topless women to a number of women who failed to appreciate his puerile stunt.

But that, folks, is not the worst thing about SunNation - far from it. Despite throwing the site open to all, and putting all those hacks on the case, the lack of interest in the Twitter feed means that, according to information that has been received here on Zelo Street, of all the Retweets that SunNation receives, around 90% are from News UK accounts. That’s looking at the #sunnation hashtag. And that’s just lame.

No wonder that the exhortation to readers to switch off Mil The Younger’s encounter with The Inquisition Of Pax Jeremiah fell flat, despite the efforts of the Sun’s non-bullying political editor Tom Newton Dunn to pretend otherwise. The Sun’s great failure has been to understand and use social media: the Murdoch hacks’ faith in paper and paywalls has been fascinating. But it has got them precisely nowhere.

Still, keep on spending the money, folks. As Lyndon Johnson nearly said, it’ll feel hot to you, but nobody else will seem to notice.


savernake said...

Great piece of reporting.

Toothless in Mordor.

Rhys said...

It's almost worth following them just to give a bit of stick about foodbanks and zero hours and Gideon's other failings