A set of automatically updated campaign buttons is available for Liberal Democrat websites displaying the latest news about the party and also the latest campaign videos. For my other sets of tools and services to help promote the Lib Dems online, see the round-up here.
NOTE: If you have a self-hosted WordPress site, then you can use the plugin kindly provided by Andy Strange, which includes the configuration options mentioned below and also supports https.
To add the Liberal Democrat campaign buttons to a blog or website, just add the following script in the appropriate location:
If you copy and paste the lines above, make sure the double quotes come out as straight and not curled or angled quotes.
Since March 2016, the widget works on secure (https://) pages too. Ensure the src attribute in any existing installation begins “//”, as above.
You can see a simple example of the buttons in action at https://libdemwidget.markpack.org.uk/examples/.
Don’t like the Aqua colour scheme? Change it by adding ?style=xxx, where xxx is one of the words from this list:
For a text-only version, use:
For a version with all inline CSS styling removed, use:
You can see all these options in action on the test page at http://libdemwidget.markpack.org.uk/examples/
Prater Raines sites
If you have a Prater Raines website, you can add the buttons from the admin area without worrying about any lines of code.
To add them to any page / article, go to the page, hit the “Campaigns” button on the editor bar (icon looks like a megaphone) and select “Sidebar buttons from Mark Pack”. Add, save the page, and it is done.
These buttons are a sibling to my Facebook Messenger service, which sends out a great piece of Lib Dem content to you each week or so.
The buttons are for people running party sites; the Messenger service is for people using their own social media accounts to help promote the Liberal Democrats and our values.
Background to the buttons
As I wrote in September 2012, during my time working at party HQ doing online campaigning one of our most successful projects (cooked up with the help of Rob Fenwick and Martin Tod) was the ‘campaign buttons’ – a simple piece of code which let bloggers and those with other websites easily display campaign adverts and news stories from the party.
It was a great way for the party to be able to push out quickly and widely adverts for new campaigns, policy launches and the like, whilst for those running sites it made for some automatically updated and useful content which they did not have to look after.
Since I left, the campaign buttons rather fell out of favour. Although the code is still running, zombie-like continuing to churn through the motions, the buttons themselves have not been updated for an age. As a result they now display a mix of broken images and trips down memory lane, such as the old campaign to encourage people to look up their MP’s voting record on Iraq.
Chatting to people at party HQ, there aren’t any plans to revive them. That’s a shame, although understandable as there is other internet and IT work taking a higher priority.
On my usual basis that regretting other people’s (in)action should be leavened by taking practical action yourself, in October 2012 I therefore resurrected the idea, with the help of coding by the as ever excellent Simon Dickson and Andy Strange.
The new button feed isn’t an official party service, but it’s available to all to use and I do my best to make it reliable and useful.
It’s primarily outward looking, so the content it features is designed to tell the public what the Liberal Democrats have done and why the party should be supported, making it suitable – for example – for local councillor, local campaigners or MP websites.