European Elections are now very much on the horizon and I’m happy to have been able to work with one MEP to create a campaign page – Swedish Social Democrat Åsa Westlund’s site went online this week, of course powered by WordPress. The site brings together all of the different things that Åsa is doing online: content from her blog, latest Twitter updates, link to the Facebook supporter page, use of Youtube and Flickr. Essentially every possible online means of interaction with the electorate has been used – I hope that this should set the standard that other candidates in Sweden and elsewhere should aim to meet or exceed.
[UPDATE – 18.02.09, 1700]
There’s an interview in The Guardian today with Thomas Gensemer, a managing partner of Blue State Digital, the company that did all the web work for Barack Obama. The article asks “Could he help Gordon Brown at the next election? He thinks so.” Well, let’s see what happens – Labour will need to really shape up if there is to be any major progress to help win an election. Maybe he could do something for some UK MEPs too? John Cruddas’s Labour Deputy Leadership website was cited in the article. Well, which candidate won that election? And who did the web work for her then?
Easy, easy Jack…
(1) The budget for this did not stretch to 4 figures, and so the e-mail had to still be the ‘Nyhetsbrev’ provided by the party.
(2) You’re right on McCain vs. Obama in terms of tools, but that’s not true among MEPs. Tell me any that are making proper use of any sort of social media?
(3) There are a number of practical things already happening for public meetings and campaigning thanks to Facebook; more via Twitter and e-mails also will follow
Agree with Emiel – all very nice to have the latest tech. But it’s the way that it’s used that makes the difference. This is what Thomas Gensemer says again and again. McCain had the exact same technology as Obama, he just didn’t use it in the way that the Obama campaign did. And Thomas puts this down to (1) the Howard Dean candidacy for 2004, which got part of the Dems moving down this road and (2) Obama’s experience as a community organiser.
So all very good for Åsa Westlund, but it’ll be for nought if she doesn’t use it to organise people to do ‘real’ (for want of a better word) political activities. The most screamingly obvious flaw in the homepage is that there’s no prominent email signup box – this should be the first thing that anyone sees when arriving at a campaign website. The way to people’s hearts, votes and wallets, is through their email inboxes.
Flickr has been changed – that was my fault for not having informed them!
Twitter – I think this will increase as the campaign goes on.
On the first sight it looks good, but then….
Her twitter updates are once every day/2days, her flickr pictures are copyright, so as a fan/blogger/etc you can not use them for free. If she changes these points, it will work out great for her!
A shining example of social media optimization – great stuff.
Congratulations to Åsa Westlund and you for setting the industry standard!