Category Archives: Online politics

Manifesto 2015: Join the debate

Following David Laws’ call for proposals for the Liberal Democrats’ 2015 Manifesto, the first submissions from members are now up on the Manifesto Website.

Watch this space for more members’ ideas to be discussed. Or submit your own idea and maybe you’ll see it up there soon!

Also posted in General Election | Tagged | 1 Comment

Opinion: No social media identity? Be very afraid

Twitter logoYesterday the government chief scientist issued a thoughtful Foresight report on social media and social identity. It has important implications for political campaigning. For those in a hurry, here is the main message in a tweet:

@andybodders No online identity? You will fade out of existence #beveryafraid

The report uses rather more eloquent words to express this:

As people have become accustomed to switching seamlessly between the

Also posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 15 Comments

Now here’s a good email to send to local members and supporters

Top marks Haringey Liberal Democrats for taking up my idea on this (properly formatted version here). Simple, practical and providing people with useful information:

Also posted in Campaign Corner | Tagged and | Leave a comment

Romney’s polling day technology meltdown: Orca

The usual post-electoral defeat search for explanations and people to blame has an added edge for the Republicans after Mitt Romney’s defeat earlier this month. Not only did Romney lose, he lost in all the states that were picked as being in serious contention, the Republicans actually lost ground in the Senate (when they had hopes of making gains) and the initial voting analysis shows the Republicans with a big problem: the parts of the electorate that are growing are the parts which vote against them the most heavily.

Also posted in Campaign Corner | Tagged , , and | 6 Comments

Can you believe in free speech and moderate comments?

The Telegraph’s assistant comment editor, Tom Chivers, has written a thought-provoking article about moderating comments on web sites. In it he tackles the apparent mismatch between a website advocating free speech while disallowing some comments under its articles:

It’s a funny thing. You write a piece saying that the state shouldn’t outlaw rudeness and insults, and about one

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LibLink: Mark Pack’s five lessons from the US election

I’ve long suspected that the Voice’s Mark Pack doesn’t need to sleep and his clear thinking after a long electoral night kind of backs up my theory. As my neural pathways crumble from lack of sleep, he has already put together five lessons we should learn from both Obama’s win and Romney’s loss.

He talks about the important of the non white male vote. While Romney might have done well amongst white men, he lost many other important groups of voters, including women, who make up the majority.

Mark also made a good point about the many emails which came out of …

Also posted in LibLink | Tagged , , , and | 6 Comments

New campaign buttons up and running on Prater Raines and MyCouncillor sites

Thanks to the kind efforts of Tim Pickstone and colleagues at ALDC and Tim Prater and co. at Prater Raines, the newly revived Liberal Democrat campaign buttons have now been tested successfully on websites run using their own systems.

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Lib Dem campaign buttons for your website available once again

A new set of automatically updated campaign buttons is now available for Liberal Democrat websites.

As I wrote in September, 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 …

Tagged , , and | 9 Comments

Tom Brake MP writes… Romney’s bought the latest gadget, but he’s forgotten to read the manual

Romney’s bought the latest gadget, but he’s forgotten to read the manual.When Obama stormed to the Presidency he did so in glorious Technicolor while his opponent was still campaigning in black and white (or at least fifty shades of grey). In contrast, Obama campaigned with panache and proved what can be achieved by harnessing the power of social media.

His victory, for me, was a Kennedy/Nixon moment – one campaign looked modern and dynamic, the other looked tired, sweaty and frankly a bit outdated. The result was rather predictable in the end. Obama triumph. Slam dunk.

But if Obama’s victory four years …

Also posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 1 Comment

The sensible campaigner is the campaigner with backups

The office wall in one of my former jobs had a cartoon with two drunks slumped in an alleyway bemoaning their fate. One was saying to the other, “It all started to go wrong when I realised the backups hadn’t been working…” He at least had been trying to use backups.

Sometimes people fear trusting data to computers, worried that a wrong key press may result in valuable information being lost. That is to get things wrong: data is safer on computers because it is much easier to do regular backups.

Also posted in Campaign Corner | Tagged , , , , and | 4 Comments

Welcome to the new bloggers…

Seventeen blogs have recently joined my Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:

Good luck to all the new bloggers, and why not take a moment to pop over to their blogs, take a read and post a comment?

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We’ve heard about Marr on Pack, but what has Pack said about Marr?

You will forgive, I hope, a bit of collective pride from the Liberal Democrat Voice team. It’s not every day one of our co-editors is mentioned, in glowing terms, at a judicial enquiry, as Stephen has already written.

To recap, Andrew Marr was talking about the authority and credibility of the political blogosphere. Top left on page 83 if you don’t want to read the whole thing.

“You look around and a lot of the most influential highly respected political commentators aren’t newspaper journalists, actually, they are bloggers. I’m thinking of people like Tim Montgomery on Conservativehome or Mr Pack

Also posted in News | Tagged , , and | Leave a comment

Campaign Corner: How can I best use Facebook?

The Campaign Corner series looks to give three tips about commonly asked campaign issues. Do get in touch if you have any questions you would like to suggest.

Today’s Campaign Corner question: How can I get the best out of Facebook for my ward branch?

Around half the UK’s population is on Facebook, so if you’re wondering what to spend time on campaigning online, then Facebook is a very good choice (perhaps these days it is second only to email). Three pieces of advice then, as is traditional:

Also posted in Campaign Corner | Tagged and | 4 Comments

A Twitter gem for seeing what Liberal Democrats are saying

Liberal Tweets is an aggregator (run by the king of Lib Dem aggregrators, LDV’s very own Ryan Cullen) which displays in one convenient place all the latest tweets from Liberal Democrat members who are using Twitter.

If you are one of those but aren’t yet being included, you can email [email protected].

Also posted in News | Tagged | 1 Comment

Opinion – Twitter: powerful campaign tool or waste of effort?

The simple tweet “F*ck” at 10am with the reply “Agreed” last Friday was the only source and all the evidence I required to know that Chris Huhne had been charged. Two words tied emotion with cognition. I followed Nick Clegg’s tax cut speech live through the medium of 140 character paraphrase: a sort of Focus-speak reduction I can only imagine would have the speech-writers crying. The utterance “Borgen – Danish West Wing” was all the persuasion necessary to watch it religiously.

Twitter is free, fast and tragic. And if it wasn’t powerful in facilitating the fall of

Also posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , , , and | 3 Comments

Lib Dem achievements, communicating peers and election timetables

A trio of resources for your weekend’s delectation:

Also posted in News | Tagged | 1 Comment

This 2008 political advert is still hard to beat

Enjoy (but please, don’t copy):

Tagged | 5 Comments

Campaign Corner: Is it better for a candidate to have a website or a blog?

The Campaign Corner series looks to give three tips about commonly asked campaign issues. Do get in touch if you have any questions you would like to suggest.

Today’s Campaign Corner question: I’m standing in May and not sure what matters most – my website, having a blog or both?

Also posted in Campaign Corner | Tagged | 4 Comments

Welcome to the new bloggers…

Twenty three blogs have recently joined my Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:

Good luck to all the new bloggers, and why not take a moment to pop over to their blogs, take a read and post a comment?

Tagged | 1 Comment

Jake Holland writes: Connect is here to help you win

All Liberal Democrat campaigners will agree that there’s no worse feeling at the end of a hard-fought election campaign than losing by a handful of votes.

In the 2010 General Election, we were less than 1000 votes away from winning in 10 constituencies. Analysing these results, it was clear that our campaign technology had fallen behind the other two main parties. Tasks that our opponents took for granted, such as linking a campaign system directly to a website, or organising a nationwide volunteer phone bank, were beyond our capabilities.

Connect is the cutting edge in campaign technology that will put us

Also posted in Party policy and internal matters | Tagged , and | 6 Comments

Campaign Corner: How do I make my ward emails more effective?

The Campaign Corner series looks to give three tips about commonly asked campaign issues. Do get in touch if you have any questions you would like to suggest.

Today’s Campaign Corner question: I have built up quite a large number of emails for residents in my ward and I’m expecting a close fight in May. How can I get the most out of emails to them?

Also posted in Campaign Corner | Tagged | 5 Comments

Calling all Lib Dem bloggers… Orwell Prize 2012 open to entries

A short public service announcement for the benefit of all Lib Dem bloggers follows:

Entries for the Orwell Prize 2012 are now open, for political writing first published in 2011. Entries will remain open until Wednesday 18 January 2012. Full details of the launch, including this year’s judges, are available on our website, www.theorwellprize.co.uk.

Online forms for the Journalism Prize, Blog Prize and Book Prize are now available (along with PDF versions of the Journalism and Book Prize forms), along with the rules and values of the Prize, at http://theorwellprize.co.uk/the-orwell-prize/how-to-enter/. Entry for all three Prizes is completely FREE.

As

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The Independent View: Local government, social media and what the public really wants

To many, social media seems the ideal way for government – especially local government –  to engage in more dialogue with communities in a way that is low cost, time-efficient and allows a two way (or indeed a multidirectional) relationship.

But how many normal people follow their council on Twitter? Research done by the LGiU found that in the vast majority of cases it is about 1% of the constituency.

Social media has the potential to play a huge role In engaging people with political system whilst saving cash. Examples like the BwD Winter  page – which Blackburn with Darwent …

Also posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | 6 Comments

Commons votes to allow Twitter but MP demands minister communicates via letter

Yesterday Parliament voted by 206-63 to allow MPs to (continue to) tweet from the Chamber, by rejecting an amendment that would have gutted this proposal, subsequently passed:

That this House notes the Third Report from the Procedure Committee on Use of hand-held electronic devices in the Chamber and committees, HC 889; and resolves that hand-held devices (not laptops) may be used in the Chamber, provided that they are silent, and used in a way that does not impair decorum, that Members making speeches in the Chamber or in committee may refer to electronic devices in place of paper speaking notes and

Also posted in News | Tagged and | 2 Comments

New on Twitter: Deputy Prime Minister’s Office

@DPMoffice Twitter screenshot
Nick Clegg has added another string to his social media bow – this time it’s a new Twitter account.

@DPMoffice will be “Tweeting the official business of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.” It will be run separately from his existing party Twitter account, @nick_clegg, which will still cover Nick’s Liberal Democrat and Government-related activities.

See also the Deputy Prime Minister’s website, his (Cabinet Office) Flickr gallery and the Deputy Prime Minister’s YouTube channel.

Also posted in News | Tagged , and | Leave a comment

Total Politics: top blogs and bloggers

Following its list of top Liberal Democrat blogs and bloggers, Total Politics has now also published its overall list of top blogs and bloggers – two lists in which many Liberal Democrats feature.

In the top 50 of the blogs list, Lib Dem Voice is in at number 12 (up from 27 last year), Caron Lindsay at 25, Jonathan Calder at 38 and Andrew Reeves at 44.

In the top 50 of the bloggers list, I’m in at number 20, Caron Lindsay at 29, Andrew Reeves at 43 and Jonathan Calder at 49.

Thank you to everyone for your votes …

Also posted in News | Tagged , , , and | Leave a comment

Total Politics: top Liberal Democrat blogs and bloggers

Out with a little less fanfare than usual this week have been various categories in the Total Politics Blogger League Tables, including the top Liberal Democrat blogs:

1 Lib Dem Voice

2 Caron’s Musings

3 Liberal England

4 Andrew Reeves’ Running Blog

5 Stephen’s Liberal Journal

6 Mark Pack

=7 Liberal Vision

=7 A Scottish Liberal

9 Cllr Fraser Macpherson

10 Mark Reckons

And the top Liberal Democrat bloggers:

Mark Pack

Caron Lindsay

Andrew Reeves

Jonathan Calder

Stephen Glenn

Olly Grender

Mark Thompson

Julian Astle

Stephen Tall

10 Fraser Macpherson

Lovely and fitting to see Andrew appear so highly in both …

Also posted in News | Tagged , and | Leave a comment

Four steps to successful email newsletters

Autumn is traditionally the season why many local councillors and would-be councillor start thinking about sorting out their online activity ahead of next spring’s elections. It’s certainly a good item on the to-do list as leaving it all till after Christmas is leaving it all rather late. So as the weather is distinctively autumnal, here are four tips to make your use of email lists more effective:

  1. Respect the tortoise
  2. Worry about two numbers
  3. Learn from the experience of others
  4. Test, test, test
Of course, email newsletters should be part of a wider, integrated plan to

1 Comment

Voting closes on Friday….

A quick plug for ourselves: voting closes on Friday in the Total Politics Blog Awards 2011. You can cast your votes here and if you would be so kind as to remember both The Voice and the blogs run by the various contributors to this site, that would be most spiffing. Thank you!

Tagged and | 1 Comment

Total Politics Blog Awards: voting is now open

It’s that time of the year again, the Total Politics blog awards, in which people very kindly voted The Voice number one Liberal Democrat blog last year.

This year the voting rules are slightly different both to remove the old system of sending in emails and also to reflect that some people blog in several different places, so you can now vote for bloggers as well as blogs:

  1. Your votes must be ranked from 1 to 10. The higher you rank a blog

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