Connect: 8 things Lib Dem activists should know about the Connect electoral database program

Connect Liberal Democrat database login screen

  1. Connect is the electoral database program used by the Liberal Democrats. You can find out more about how and why it was introduced in my other Connect posts.
  2. There is a smartphone app, MiniVAN, which makes doorstep campaigning much easier, more effective and more efficient.
  3. Another of Connect’s excellent features is the ‘Virtual Phone Bank’ (VPB) which lets volunteers log in online to do telephone canvassing.
  4. There is an excellent Facebook support group for Connect users, with great advice available from everyone from the complete beginner to the veteran. Ask your local party / regional Connect manager to add you to the group.
  5. Don’t share your Connect login. The system holds confidential data about people which the party rightly has to hold securely. Your Connect login is just for you to use, and what is done with it gets logged and recorded.
  6. Nearly every time someone I’ve heard or seen someone say “it’s awful that Connect can’t do X”, Connect actually can do it. There are some things it can’t do, but asking colleagues how best to do a task rather than concluding it can’t be done is almost always a wise move.
  7. Connect works very differently from the party’s previous EARS system. Trying to do something the way it was done in EARS can result in frustration that you can’t find out how to do it. Connect frequently takes you through tasks in a different order, so go with how Connect works rather than trying to emulate how you did things in EARS.
  8. Connect provides a system for using data well to help with election campaigns and grassroots organisation. But you still need to think carefully about how to use data well.

6 responses to “Connect: 8 things Lib Dem activists should know about the Connect electoral database program”

  1. Sorry Mark – But Connect is useless compared to EARS. I used to be able to produce quick switch analysis based on my daily canvassing using EARS. Using Connect, I can’t. I cannot enter data directly in to connect in 2023 because the only option I have is peoples second preference, not first preference. It is a truly terrible system,

    • Sorry to hear you’re finding it frustrating, particularly as I know lots of other people find it much better than EARS. Both the issues you mention sound like ones that are very fixable in Connect, so I wonder if there’s an issue with, e.g., you not having the right access levels to be able to select or create the best question for recording the data you mention. Have you been in touch with any of the regional Connect experts?

  2. Connect is an incredibly powerful tool. The main issue is that, for most of our activists, it’s needlessly complex; do we have devs in-house who’re able to tailor it to our needs a bit better? I honestly think a heavily simplified front-end – with options narrowed to bare essentials by default, and hover-text to show what a function will do – would work wonders for take-up. Perhaps even an AI-powered “What would you like to do?”-style chatbot. As it is, most people are unwilling to make the time commitment needed to get to grips with it – and as a result we often resort to paying organisers money we don’t have to do basic work with it.

  3. Connect is excellent! Perfect? No! Flawless? No! but many of the issues claimed for it result from decisions about how to use it rather than specifics about the system.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments and data you submit with them will be handled in line with the privacy and moderation policies.