Campaigning has come a long way from standing on a barrel outside churches

This election will be like no other for a number of reasons. But one of the major reasons has been the explosion of social media since we last went to the ballot boxes in a general election in 2007. While Facebook is something that has become part of the social fabric of communication world wide, it was only in its infancy as a world-wide communication tool four years ago. But even Facebook has been usurped as a instant communication tool by the evolution of Twitter.

In the past couple of years the 160 character messaging service has become an invaluable tool in sharing information and engaging in discussion on a variety of issues from the mundane to the world changing. By following those who interest you and even those who you might not like on Twitter you can get up-to-the-second information of what is going on. And by using the hashtag system, you can curate all of the discussion on an topic into one stream at ease. For example the hashtag being generally used to discuss all things to do with the upcoming general election is #ge11. By using that hashtag in your post you will be joining the millions of people world wide discussing the upcoming general election and you can just read what people are saying, or get involved in the debate with like-minded and not so like-minded people.

With only a matter of weeks left until the returning officer announces the results you can keep in touch with what a number of candidates are up to, and even pose a few questions to them. If they reply, well that is another matter completely, but if you are going to have an online presence in a social media environment like this, getting involved with those who follow you is vital.

In Mayo nine of the candidates are currently on Twitter. The entire Fine Gael contingent: Enda Kenny, Michelle Mulherin, Michael Ring, and John O’Mahony are represented. Both of the Fianna Fáil candidates Dara Calleary and Lisa Chambers can be found on the social networking site, as can Labour’s Dr Jerry Cowley, Sinn Féin’s Therese Ruane, and Independent candidate Martin Daly.

Mayo candidates’ twitter addresses

Enda Kenny: @endakennytd; Michael Ring: @MichaelRingTD; John O’Mahony: @omahonytd; Michelle Mulherin: @mulherinFG; Dara Calleary @daracalleary; Lisa Chambers @lisachambers; Dr Jerry Cowley: @DrJerryCowley; Therese Ruane @thereseruane; and Martin Daly: @MartinDaly2011.

You can also follow us here at the Mayo Advertiser on Twitter for all your news. You will find us @MayoAdvert and you can also find us on Facebook on


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