Gordon Brown joins Berners-Lee's Web Foundation – but he really should join Twitter

Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, ousted in this year’s election, is forming the Gordon and Sarah Brown Foundation, and has accepted three pro-bono appointments all with some connection to the Web. He’s joining Queen Rania of Jordan’s Global Campaign for Education. Queen Rania has 1,337,872 followers on Twitter and last year spoke at Le Web. Brown is also working on a new programme to bring the internet to Africa and joining the board of Tim Berners Lee’s World Wide Web Foundation.

If you recall, just prior to the election in May, Brown launched a policy initiative to put £30m into an “Institute of Web Science” which would have been headed up by Berners-Lee. That centre has been cut dead by the new government, so perhaps Brown joining BL’s Web Foundation is a sort of thank you?

But what is more interesting about Gordon Brown is that despite his former PR wife’s massive, million-plus following on Twitter, Brown himself appears yet to join, at least personally. Should he listen to her advice?

The official @DowningStreet account was used while he was in power but no longer updated. Since it was close to a personal one, perhaps he has some moral claim to it? It has 35k+ followers.

But the more appropriate @gordonbrown is some guy in Liverpool clearly having a bit of a laugh.

Meanwhile, @gordon_brown is an automated Twitter feed created by one James Bridle, a writer and digital publishing consultant who was clearly on some kind of campaign to get politicians onto Twitter.

Interestingly Bridle also owns @tony_blair, which was a Twitterfeed, now idle. Although all his accounts are labelled “Unofficial Twitter”.

It’s ironic that Brown, long known as a control freak when it came to dealing with the media, has still to listen to his wife and take control of his own social media. After all, he now has the time on his hands.