Tag Archives: #ldconf

No ring-fencing for cuts as Vince feels the love

When the main hall is packed at a Spring Conference, you can be sure it isn’t because everyone wants to debate the third clause of the Federal Conference Committee’s report, or even (as we heard this morning) discuss the rights and wrongs of holding a conference that clashes with Mothers’ Day.

No, it’s because St. Vince of Twickenham is taking to the stage. The halo may have slipped slightly on occasion, most notably the hastily-revised Mansion Tax proposals made at Bournemouth last September, but for the party faithful it’s still Vince who can heal the sick and, if weather conditions …

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Paddy Ashdown in existential shock at rally

A good conference rally is fun to attend and tricky to report on, simply because there should be nothing new. The audience ideally leaves reminded of the key messages and enthused to fight the good fight – there’s plenty of time for controversy over the rest of the weekend.

As in Bournemouth, the rally took on a glitzy feel: dry ice, bright lights, (relatively) slick presentation.

Lorely Burt opened procedings with a few jokes, and promise of holding her seat in Solihull, where the Lib Dems overturned a 9,400 Tory majority last time round.

Then a selection of …

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Daily View 2×2: 25 September 2009

Loyal readers, I’d like to start this morning with a quick reminder to complete this online survey – it’s designed to explore the views and activities of the users of four UK Party-related websites – LabourHome, Labour List, ConservativeHome and Lib Dem Voice. The overall goal of the project is “to better understand how and why party members, supporters and voters in general are using the web and blogs to engage with politics and political organisations.”

It’s being conducted by the Hansard Society in association with researchers at the University of Manchester and University of Salford.

To do your good …

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Twitter, #ldconf and Heidegger

At our autumn conference last year, this blog introduced a reluctant world to the concept of hashtags. We coined a cumbersome phrase, “hashtag taxonomy” which has dogged us around the political and technical worlds ever since.

By the end of the conference week, I was regretting the phrase utterly. We’d made a simple technology sound complicated, and in doing so had hidden its value from many people who could benefit.

That bad taste in the mouth was extant up until the start of our Spring conference – and brought home to me once more in the words of our founding editor:

A little jealous of #labour20 – if LibDems attempted similar one-day conf the whole day would be spent giggling about “hashtag taxonomies”

From my dimly remembered German degree, Heideggerian terminology has two terms for tools: Zuhanden and Vorhanden. Vorhanden is when something is strange and new. You can see it, but you’re not sure how it works or what it does. It’s that strange feeling when you are learning to drive of a number of controls in front of you, and no sense of how to use them. But once you have been driving for a while, the car becomes Zuhanden: a tool so familiar that you use it without a second thought. It fits your hand comfortably and has become a part of you, not a separate, strange tool.

And that’s exactly what happened with hashtags and twitter at Spring conference.

Helen Duffett announced before Spring conference began that there would be one hashtag for all future Lib Dem conferences:

#ldconf is the hashtag we’ve adopted for this, and all Liberal Democrat Federal conferences. All tweets with this tag can be viewed together at sites like Twitter Search. It’s handy to bookmark the address and refer back to it to see the story developing, through the contributions of many people.

That last sentence of advice proved truer than I guessed. For when conference got underway, we were staggered at the extent to which people were availing themselves of the service. A brief calculation while I write this suggests that there very nearly 1,000 individual messages.

There has been a big increase in the use of Twitter in recent months, fuelled mostly by newspaper reports of celebrities such as Stephen Fry using the service to keep in touch with their fans. One of the clearest indications of just how many people are joining in is related to Fry: at the start of 2009, he launched a competition to celebrate 50,000 followers. Before the competition concluded just days later, he had over 100,000. Although not on that scale, this week both I and @libdemvoice breached the 200 followers mark.

As a result, there’s a wider community of people to talk to each other on twitter, and this weekend, using the hashtag, that’s precisely what they did. The previously strange technology is now so zuhanden that dozens of people used the hashtag during the conference, generating hundreds and hundreds of short messages. The hashtag even “trended” – that is to say it became so popular that it was amongst the most widely used tags in the world.

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Comprehensive conference coverage

The party has excellent comprehensive coverage on a vote-by-vote basis on the main party website.

You can find it here.

There is a rather more irreverent live coverage coming from a small army of party twitterers using the hashtag #ldconf. They are telling us about fringes as they happen. They are giving key phrases from set piece speeches. And they are reviewing restaurants almost chew by chew.

You can read these comments from individuals by following this link.

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Howard Dean in under 12secs

Continuing our exciting use of new technology, Helen Duffett brings Howard Dean to the 12seconds.tv platform

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Try Twitter at Lib Dem Spring Conference!

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 14th Jul - 5:51pm
    This is useful from Paul. It is of little interest whether countries differ in compiling methods. It is plain. Countries that took this seriously, early,...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 14th Jul - 5:36pm
    @ Joe B Another one at a time question: "Most of the money in the economy is provided by the commercial banking sector" Does the...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 14th Jul - 5:31pm
    @ Joe B, Lets just take it one at a time. I think this is the only chance of getting a straight answer. Are you...
  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 14th Jul - 5:28pm
    @Marco So not that many then. I wonder why? Are the rest of us just nuts? Can’t we just move on?
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 14th Jul - 5:26pm
    @ Joe B, Lets just take it one a time.
  • User AvatarSean Hagan 14th Jul - 5:14pm
    I wish Mimi well in her challenging new role - but perhaps someone could clarify whether she has any relevant experience of political campaigns or...