Televised leaders debate: the technological winners

When I first wrote about the winners and losers from Thursday night’s TV debate between Brown, Cameron and Clegg I only briefly touched on technology:

Winner – TV
Loser – internet

The TV audience peaked at just under 10m, far more than any online audience for a UK political event. TV kept on broadcasting whilst Facebook and Tweetminster buckled under the load…

Winner – unofficial Liberal Democrat Facebook group
Loser – official Conservative Facebook page

Helped by the debate, the already strongly growing Facebook group surged onwards and now has comfortably more members than the Conservative Page has fans.

Watching Martin Belam’s short video about online coverage of the Prime Ministerial debate, it’s clear there were three specific technology winners. Facebook and Twitter dominate the field now when people want to pull in the latest real time comments on an event. The third winner was CoveritLive which doesn’t quite have the same dominance in its own field of live blogging but was by far the most popular tool.

There have been, and still are, plenty of rivals to all three yet the debate emphasised how marginal those rivals now are.

Finally, there was a technological spin-off from the debate: a site that generates spoof versions of David Cameron’s frequent comments during the debate about having recently met someone. As several people asked on Twitter during the debate, if there had been a question about prostitution, would David Cameron have talked about how he’d just met a prostitute?

UPDATE: There’s a neat analysis of tweets sent during the debate on the New Political Communication Unit’s blog.


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