You have to hand it to the man — he’s good at this talk show business. Yes, it’s a little bit excruciating to watch Kevin Rudd on Rove, but in a Dad kind of way. You’re terribly embarrassed by him, you wince when he says ‘bloke’, you know his referencing of Bruno is a transparent attempt to make contact with ordinary viewers when he’s actually going home to read The Brothers Karamazov, but you still find yourself smiling goofily at the television as you watch.

Case in point: shaking the sauce bottle.

Following Kevin Rudd on Twitter is much the same. Compelling and cringey all at the same time.

And yes, the tweets are his, he confirmed as much last week, KRudd sign off and all:

@KevinRuddPM Some have asked if Tweets are mine. Team helps with posting, links etc. They sign off “#KevinPM Team” so i’ll sign off KRudd from now. KRudd

But it wasn’t always so warm and fuzzy. In the beginning — Nov 11 2008, 6.05 am to be precise: (@KevinRuddPM Looking forward to communicating with you on Twitter) —  the Prime Minister was a very dry tweeter.

Followers were sceptical that it was the man himself. The medium was being treated like a 140 character press release. Tweets like this did nothing for Rudd’s image as a former public servant with a penchant for spin:

@KevinRuddPM We must act decisively to support jobs, families and the Australian economy in these difficult global financial times.

@KevinRuddPM Focused on supporting jobs – $298.5m to help Aussie workers back into the workforce during the Global Financial Crisis announced today

Not that voters necessarily like the idea of their Prime Minister LOLing and ZMOGing, but Malcolm Turnbull was showing Rudd up with his distinguished, yet more personal tweets live from the Bondi Junction bus.

The art of Twitter is all about engaging, and being human about it, but in April, wrote a story about how dull the Prime Minister’s tweets were. He might have had more followers than Malcolm Turnbull, but Rudd just didn’t get it.

It was around the middle of May that Kevin began to experience his tweeting epiphany. The Prime Minister became softer, and even self effacing in parts:

@KevinRuddPM Ever tried to do a press conference at Southern Cross station and compete with a locomotive for the microphone? Don’t try. Locos 1. Me 0. 10:42 AM May 18th

Then came Abby and Jasper:

@KevinRuddPM Just got home to Lodge in Canberra. Abby the retriever happy. Jasper the cat grumpy. Situation normal.

And the kids. The tone was less podium, more fireside chat:

@KevinRuddPM Sitting at home with Jasper the cat and Marcus chatting about the day in Parliament. Compared with the libs, we had a pretty quiet day. 4:37 PM Jun 2nd

Use of the term “Brissie” was confirmation — Rudd was now most definitely doing his own tweeting.

@KevinRuddPM Just watched state of origin at home with Nick in Brissie. Great game. Could have gone either way. But the good guys won in the end.

The month of June has seen Rudd perfect the art of the tweet, even asking for movie recommendations:

@KevinRuddPM Not bad given the usual delays in getting stuff done. Now back to CBR. Taking Marcus to movies tonight. Any suggestions what we should see?

@KevinRuddPM Ok. So who recommended I go and see Terminator? Marcus said it was the best movie he’d seen all year. Not exactly my cuppa tea.

@KevinRuddPM What is with the metal thing? T sensibly begged off. Any OTHER ideas for movies out there?

There was even a good natured shout out to the outgoing member for Higgins:

@KevinRuddPM Peter Costello said his farewells today to the parliament. Good form. Great humour.

@KevinRuddPM Despite our occasional differences on policy, the place won’t be the same without him, he added colour and movement. Wished him well.

These days, even T gets a mention:

@KevinRuddPM Went to movies last night with T who wanted to see Coco Chanel with Audrey Tautou. Certainly an improvement on Terminator. KRudd.

As for beleaguered Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull, the once undisputed leader in all things 2.0 hasn’t tweeted since the 24th of June…

@TurnbullMalcolm getting ready for another Question Time. In case you missed it I spoke with Kieran Gilbert earlier today on Sky

Follow twits Crikey editor Jonathan Green @GreenJ, Deputy Editor Sophie Black @sophblack, production coordinator Leigh Josey @lethaleigh, journalists Eleri Harris @elerimai, Andrew Crook @acrook and Ruth Brown @rbbrown, plus Bernard Keane @BernardKeane and First Dog on the Moon @firstdogonmoon. And don’t forget @crikey_news!