Twickenham is full of idiots. Discuss.

“Twickenham is full of idiots. Discuss.” You’ll never see a headline like that in the Richmond & Twickenham Times. If truth be told, you’ll not see a headline like that on this site either. Well probably not more than just this once but, and it’s a big but, we could do it every week if we wanted. OK, so you’re already bored and already asking yourself what is the point of all this. Well it’s because our esteemed and genuinely pretty good local paper, the Richmond & Twickenham Times, is adding the “hyperlocal” to its well established “local” presence. In addition to its borough-wide coverage it’s just launched a Twickenham specific site, The aim is to cover Twickenham in a way that engages with the local community and, they hope, becomes sustained by “user-generated content”. Fair play to them, it’s something that every local site would want, including this one.

At the moment twickenhamlive just seems to filter existing R&TT news stories to show only those relating to Twickenham (fair enough), it encourages chat (a bit like the comments we have on here), it has a Facebook page and a Twitter account (as do we) and even has a link to a Flickr group for your photos (yep, we have a twickerati group but just haven’t done much with it yet). So the structure is all there for a great hyperlocal site, all it needs is the content to get it going. Ah yes, the content. Remember back in 2000 when “content was king”? Well, it still may be. You may want to contribute to it (feel free) but you may also want to contribute to this site (and don’t pretend we haven’t asked you).

The R&TT has a good reputation but it’s entering a congested market. Twickenham already has various local listings, events and directory sites in addition to an array of other sites (of which twickerati is by far and away the best). You can see some of them on our links page. Twickenhamlive will be competing with all of them and competing with its own printed edition of the paper. As for the site itself, we know they’re the experts on local stuff etc but if we could give them one tiny tip we’d say don’t use a rugby stadium photo on the home page. Whilst rugby is what the town is known for, not everyone in Twickenham wants it to be defined by the old oval ball.

We can’t say that we wish it every success but nor do we hope that it fails. After all, we all like getting people interested our local community even if our motivations for doing so may vary. Who knows, it may even complement this site. After all, we’d be happy to continue using headlines like “Twickenham is full of idiots. Discuss” while they cover the other stuff.


Richmond & Twickenham Times
Twickenham Live
Twickerati links to local sites
Twickerati group on Flickr


Filed under Local Issues & News, Random Stuff

16 responses to “Twickenham is full of idiots. Discuss.

  1. Some interesting questions raised above about the future of local papers. Mergers leading to a broader definition of what’s “local” even though “community” tends to be very much about one’s immediate area, hence the supposed rise of “hyperlocal”. Printed editions being squeezed by online editions. Online editions suffering from a plethora of other news sources, specialist listings sites and community blogs which, a bit like this one, can pick and choose what they cover and how they do it. And then there’s the “F” word that dominates so much content on the net. That’s right, “free”. Why pay for stuff when you can get similar stuff free from someone else? The Times has a paywall in front of its online content. Is that remotely achievable for local papers such as the Richmond & Twickenham Times? Almost certainly not. Can it survive with a model based on ads and promos? Maybe. Do we need decent local papers? Yes we do. It’s not just so sites like this can pick up stories without having to employ proper journalists and it’s not just to tell us where the fireworks display is. Sure there’s a bit of that but it’s mainly to do the things that other sites can’t, to be first to the train crash and to do the stuff that local hacks do in TV dramas such as rooting out corruption in city hall and finding the missing local businessman who’s dumped his partner’s headless body in the lake. And of course, in between these occasional big stories there may only be the glove thieving vermin to write about.

    No doubt the RTT along with every other paper is grappling with all of this and wondering how long adverts for job sites and jewellers can sustain it. Here at twickerati HQ, we hope it’s for a little while longer at least.

  2. twickerman

    ……and what about the idiots who intend to open a new kebab shop called KAKA. The names already up at the junction of Whitton and London Roads. Yum yum kaka kebabs!!!

    ….and then there’s the idot on p3 of the R &TT who keeps leaving gardening gloves out only to find that vermin have taken them. After losing 6 pairs he’s none the wiser. Is this the best/most interesting news the editor of the R&TT can bring us these days?

    • twickerman

      I noticed todaythat KAKA’S has morphed into AKA’S. Perhaps they’re less idiotic than I first thought.
      Does anyone have any name suggestions for them – surely it can’t be difficult to improve on krappy kebabs!!!

    • Chris Squire

      Anyone for a Twickerbab?

  3. Tony Elsom

    As an ex- hack, I’m surprised to see Mr van der Vat describing those who try to engage with local issues as “halfwits who pollute the letters pages”. Is this typical of the self-appointed literati of Eel Pie Island? I do hope not. I have been lucky enough to have a number of letters published in the R&TT in opposition to the LibDem obsession with selling off Twickenham Riverside and imposing the pointless CO2/CPZ tax. I’ve tried my best to make them factual with a bit of punchy journalese (self taught) – does that make me a polluting halfwit? I hope not. The last R&TT editor was pretty even handed which was quite refreshing and encouraged participation however half or whole witted. Unfortunately there are far too many intellectual snobs lurking out there who take every opportunity to generalise and deride those who dare to put their heads above the parapet. I bought your book Mr Van der Vat! As to the current editorial content of the R&TT – I think that you are right.
    Tony Elsom

  4. You are overgenerous to the RTT. Half its handful of “news” pages are labelled “advertising feature,” which is accurate but reduces real news to a shameful minimum. There is still a load of advertising but no listing of e.g. what films are on locally. Maybe the cinemas are too stingy to pay for bigger, more detailed ads, but such lists used to be there as a service to the reader. This is a miserable, unworthy paper for one of the richest and most interesting parts of the UK. Post-Dimbleby the layout has improved but the content has shrivelled. As an ex-hack I would like to see it probe the real local issues instead of leaving them to the many halfwits who pollute the letters pages. But clearly they haven’t got the will, the skill or the staff.

  5. Angelina Jolly

    Nothing can compare to this site – so fear not team at Twickerati; and talking to one of your team recently, I was pleased to hear you’ve got over 4,000 hits a month so you’re well on your way to super-blogdom!

  6. twickerman has been up and running for a while but as twickerati states only filters articles from their wider group.
    Where twickerati wins hands down on R&TT is in promoting local events IN ADVANCE and FREE. This is a prospect that R&TT doesn’t seem to consider to be of interest to locals, hence they only report on events after they have happened.
    Unusually, the R&TT have reported today on the Twickfest that has been promoted tirelessly by twickerati for weeks. Presumably they are reacting to competiting from twickerati – so congratulations go to twickerati for leading the way.

  7. Gareth Roberts

    Of course there was a time when the RTTimes used to be a bit more local than they are now – those with long memories will remember the Hampton and Teddington Times (or was it Teddington and Hampton?) anyway, they did and round here used to be nowt but fields and you could leave your doors open, etc, etc

  8. Chris Squire

    ‘Newsquest London – Mission Not Accomplished: The latest news from Newsquest’s south London operations is worse than even the most practised of Jeremiahs had predicted. As reports, 12 editorial jobs are to go. This includes the whole of John Payne’s Sport and Leisure team – the two areas which have managed to hold off the relentless tide of churnalism that has swamped most of the news teams (with one or two exceptions) .

    The savagery of the proposed “downsizing” is a case of not so much cutting off your nose to spite your face, but both ears, an arm and a leg, and giving one eye a poke with a sharp stick.
    It has been sad to watch the steady drip-drip-drip decline of the once thriving south London Guardian, Comet and Richmond and Twickenham Times series in the year and a half since I and others were made redundant, and I have commented on it before.’
    The Louse & the Flea, May 27

  9. Monkeybanjo

    I don’t think it will be any competition. It is a generic approach that would require a lot of resource to bring it up to Twickerati’s standard.

    Anyway, it is unlikely that they will be able to poach me – unless they make me an eggscelent offer!

  10. I see the front page story on RTT site is a arson attack which killed a toddler in …. Camberwell.

    Not exactly hyperlocal. I can see why the computer chose it (the accused is ‘from twickenham’) I think they’ll need to do better.

  11. Boss

    I prefer Twickerati. You can say things like “shite” on here. I think?

  12. Chris Squire

    The RTT has just made its news editor redundant, no doubt to trim the wage bill to keep the paper in the black, so the time of its paid staff will be stretched thinner than ever.

  13. Telemachus

    Yep, I noticed the rather unceremonious announcement in the R&T Times on Friday. Immediately thought of Twickerati and what you do, which is much more fun and less stuffy. They are planning to role out other sites not just Twickenham …guess Tedd Town is pleased too.

    Do not worry this loyal ‘Twickerati – er’ (or maybe ‘Twickerato’) will stay with the cool crowd (that’s here btw).

    As someone said ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,’ so that might be some consolation. Viva Twickerati!

  14. Mark Walker

    Another site to argue about the station on, perfect!