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Gov wants £120k web monkey, not junior Twittercrat

Tweets an own-goal

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Touchy Cabinet Office spin doctors are upset about reports of a Deputy Twittercrat this week. They're so upset, they've tweeted about it.

Unfortunately, in putting out a rather peevish and petty press release, they've merely reminded everyone of the high public sector salaries and self-importance of new media people. It's worth reading in full to fully appreciate its slow-motion own-goal qualities.

The department's press team disputes that the job in question directly involves Twittering. Oh no it doesn't, they say. The post is for a back-office web manager, at £120,000 a year.

"It is wrong to suggest, as one paper does, that the task of running such a large site is a 'non-job'. With 80 per cent of the British population using the internet regularly, people rightly expect the Government to have a high-quality presence online."

In true new media style, it trumpets the importance of the latest Web fad, and its own importance in the centre of this - creating a dense info-spiral of importance, from which Government tweets radiate:

"The Downing Street Twitter account is followed by more than 1.2 million people, more than the official White House Twitter and considerably more than the daily circulation on most national newspapers. It is vital that the Government understands the medium and uses it properly. If people want to engage with us online, we should be capable of engaging with them online."

In fact, we like to think of the Cabinet Office as a huge, pulsing, ever-growing brain of electronic information, that rules from the centre of Whitehall.

But we didn't know that taxpayers paid £120,000 for a web monkey. Here's the pay scale for nurses for comparison. ®

Bootnote

Your humble reporter coined the (pretty obvious) term "Twittercrat" in a February story - it's caught on faster and more widely than any Cabinet Office policy.

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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