engaging, internet, social networking, user-generating

Analogue Politicians in the Digital Age: how YouTube came to Downing Street

back in June of last year I wrote a post in which I quoted Tim Montgomerie who in the Spectator suggested that the next general election will be remembered as 'Britain’s first internet election'.  He
notes that “in this new world [of internet communities] the campaign
staff of political parties and traditional media will have a much
smaller share of power”.  I suggested that both brands and political parties needed to shift from 'send' to 'receive' mode.

either because of my post, or as a result of jibes made by David Cameron that Brown is "an analogue politician in a digital age", Downing Street has just engaged its 'receive' mode.  it takes the form of a Downing Street Channel on YouTube, on which – in the above video – Gordon asks for questions from the YouTube community.

it's an interesting – if clunky – development, and a far-cry from the slickness of the WebCameron site.  but this is part of it's charm.  despite the fact that watching the PM ask for questions like "how globalisation's working?" or "what's happenning to Climate Change?" is a bit like watching a bad audition for Newsround, there is the clear ambition to not only let consumers set the agenda, but to go to an existing community.  this should be applauded; Cameron's site may be slicker, but it's still effectively a walled garden.

what will be really intriguing will be the potential debate that this could start…  Chris Crockers Britney video has been viewed 20 million times and has spawned a plethora of text and video responses.  we should hope that a similar, if less emotional, post from Gordon on globalisation could instigate a similar response.  we live in hope.


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