I’m going to be doing a fair bit of link-dumping over the coming weeks, as I’m trying to write more and develop more ideas on internet campaigning. So I’m going to throw out short thoughts and ideas.
This article on the Washington Post makes a point I wanted to about how political campaigning online, especially in the UK, is badly conceived:
“In this Internet era, it’s not enough to run a campaign; you need to lead a movement,” Mindy Finn, a Republican online political operative, told me less than three days after the election. “That’s what Obama did.” Finn, 27, worked on President Bush’s eCampaign team in 2004 and supervised former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s Web strategy. She worries that, unlike its Democratic counterpart, the Republican establishment hasn’t fully grasped the ways the Web is revolutionizing politics. “If you look at their site,” she said of the Obama campaign, “their online videos, their online ads, everything they did, it wasn’t about ‘me, myself and I.’ It was about ‘we’ and ‘us.’ ”
It was, in essence, about you.
I think the same point can be made here. Most Labour, Tory or Libdem online operations seem to be about promoting the party and their policies, rather than assuming its a new voter who wants to empower themselves or see what this politics business is all about. It isn’t about engaging them in a movement based on any ideology or vision. It’s just: hello! We are the [whatever] party. Come and learn more about us here. In fact, the only party that explicitly thinks of itself as a movement and tries to engage its readers as much as possibly online is the BNP. No wonder they’re so popular.
The Green Party, for a small operation that is meant to be radical, actually has a very conservative site, has changed somewhat with a more explicit focus on its most popular policies, on its front page. But there’s no sense of a movement, which is the only way that party will get anywhere.
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Filed in: Net Campaigns,Party politics