Sun, Jul 19, 2009 - Page 3 News List

DPP heavyweights use online service to keep contact

By Su Yong-yao  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) will hold his first meeting with Internet users today, as a thank-you gesture to the growing positive response he has garnered from online users.

The event will take place at the Riverside Live House (河岸留言西門紅樓展演館) in Ximending’s historic Red House Theater (西門紅樓) in Taipei City this afternoon.

Su’s daughter said the former premier had only started getting himself seriously acquainted with the Internet last year, but added that within a few months’ time, Su had become a keen user of Plurk, a micro-blogging service similar to Twitter.

To make the event more fun, Su, whose nickname is “electrical fireball (電火球),” has asked participating Internet users to come to the event today with “electrical fireball” costumes.

Aside from Su, a number of pan-green politicians have also realized the Internet’s potential influence, becoming active online and using the Internet as a means to communicate with the public and supporters.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in January launched a personal blog, where she writes entries responding to major news events. She has also set up a Plurk account, using it to interact with her supporters.

Other DPP politicians, including former DPP presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), have also joined the trend and become plurkers.

Hsieh’s aides described Hsieh as “very hard-working” when it comes to using Plurk because he plurks several times a day on ­topics ­ranging from politics, life philosophy and personal emotions.

According to a survey conducted by Foreseeing Innovative New Digiservices in March, the population of Internet users in Taiwan is 15 million and the average time spent online is 16 hours per week.

Yang Hui-ju (楊蕙如), a Web manager for Hsieh’s presidential campaign last year, said Plurk had become one of the most popular messaging services in Taiwan and the latest communication channel for independence activists.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY STAFF WRITER

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