To read this post as it originally appeared on 1st April, 2011, click here.
I am delighted to announce that Lib Dem Voice has secured major investment to develop and expand its in-depth coverage of UK political news.
For many years, Lib Dem Voice has been the only ‘home’ site for a major UK political party to be run totally on a volunteer basis, without any staff, interns or office space. However that is not a sustainable long-run position and in addition there are many new features they would like to add to the site but have not previously been able to resource.
Over the coming months they will be moving over to a staffed basis for the site’s core content and adding features including an early morning news email summary, breaking news alerts through the day, an interactive design your own barchart feature for producing Focus barcharts with just a few mouse clicks and a weekly cookery column syndicated from Nigella Lawson. The first will feature her favourite chocolate cake recipe.
They will also be adding a customisable home page so that users can choose how much prominence should be given on their home page to our different strands of content, such as op-ed pieces, news from the party and local councillor round-ups. Their coverage of local council misdemeanours will be extended to include parish councils.
To improve the debate in the comments they are looking at working with leading players in the biometrics field to use web cameras allowing you to prove your identity and no longer will the site need to require adverts to help fund it.
In order to resource this, they have accepted a substantial cash investment from my company Political Investments Ltd. They will also be moving into shared office space alongside ConservativeHome, helping to both minimise their overhead costs and also benefit from the synergies in covering the work of the government.
Lib Dem Voice takes great pride in its complete editorial independence but in reflection of these changes they are rebranding to LibDemHome.
Rest assured, however, that changes to the editorial line of the site and the comments moderation policy will only be minimal.
I am grateful that Mark Pack and Stephen Tall have have agreed to move to the new home of LibDemHome in Central America and I’m sure we can all see that Belize is the ideal location for keeping a finger on the pulse of British politics