Technology

How are the main parties doing on the internet?

Many of the pieces written about British political parties and the internet are rather duff because they are written by people who (a) have never run an election in their life, (b) don’t like politicians and (c) are extremely keen on the internet. As a result, they tend not to be that well informed or balanced.

However, this week’s PR Week has put together a good panel that has come up with insightful pieces about the Labour and the Conservative internet presences. (The Liberal Democrats also get a similar write-up, but I’ll leave you to judge what to make of that piece’s mentions of me. I’m just trying  to figure out whether having gone from being called a digital guru a few weeks ago by PR Week and now being a digital supremo is a move up, down or sideways…)

At one end of the spectrum stands US president Barack Obama, a gleaming example of how savvy use of social media can lead to political victory. At the other end we find the ‘smeargate’ scandal, an ill-conceived plot by Labour operatives Derek Draper and Damian McBride to use a new website to denigrate political rivals.

Somewhere in between the two extremes, the UK’s three main political parties are becoming increasingly fervent disciples of the power of social media – with varying degrees of success.

You can read the full piece here.

P.S. Sign that I’ve settled in to my new job at Mandate: my reaction to the piece wasn’t, “Excellent, Lib Dems come out well” but rather “That’s one good mention for Mandate and one good mention for Blue Rubicon. Score draw.” 🙂

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0 responses to “How are the main parties doing on the internet?”

  1. Actually they called you a ‘former digital supremo’. 🙂

    There’s a lot wrong with that article. A ‘panel’ featuring the owners of several of the projects under review (but no LibDem I notice), a blurring between party and unofficial initiatives – and, yet again, a failure to separate Labour from the civil service.

    I think the specific criticism of the LibDems offering is fair, by the way; lots of good initiatives and elements, but a lack of cohesion across them. But it’s a shame an equally critical eye wasn’t cast over flops like LabourSpace or Cameron’s Facebook drive.

  2. “The party also has to pay more attention to the basics of functionality and design”

    No, REALLY? The party needs to pay attention to it’s activists who have been saying this for ages… [/grumble]

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