Tag Archives: YouTube

YouGov poll shows huge support for Lib Dem drug policy

Last year’s drug policy debate at conference ended with near-unanimous endorsement of the policy motion “protecting individuals and communities from drug harms“, but since then Liberal Democrats seem to have been passing up every opportunity to publicise our new policy.

When Theresa May dismissed the advice of the chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, Lib Dems were silent. When Ken Clarke said the War on Drugs was failing but that decriminalisation wasn’t the answer… Lib Dems were silent. When an audience member of question time last week asked if it was time to control, regulate and …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 10 Comments

Opinion: social media priorities

The last article I wrote conjoured up a utopian vision of Liberal Democrat e-campaigning. However, it might not be a realistic aim for individuals or groups who lack social media expertise, or time, to develop a fully fledged social media presence. How, then, should Liberal Democrats prioritise the different elements of social media?

The first choice is an absolute no-brainer. If you do nothing else, start a Facebook page. Don’t mistake a Facebook ‘group’ for a Facebook ‘page’. Though they share some features, they are different beasts. A local Party group should have an ‘official’ Facebook page. Individuals may …

Posted in Online politics and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 1 Comment

Making short political videos: three top tips

Candidates and councillors find videos a real complement to their other campaign methods and, done well, they can be a powerful way for voters to get to know issues and personalities. They’re especially useful in internal party elections where candidates may not be able to meet all of their large electorate in person. They’re also great for campaigners at a local level, where there’s usually a lack of good quality information on hyperlocal matters.

Recently I’ve noticed a surge of interest from people who are keen to try it themselves, so here are my top tips for making your own short political videos, and they all begin with “V”.

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

Worth a second outing: Lessons from Gordon Brown’s use of YouTube

Welcome to a series where old posts are revived for a second outing for reasons such as their subject has become topical again, they have aged well but were first posted when the site’s readership was only a tenth or less of what it is currently or they got published and the site crashed, hiding the finest words of wisdom behind an incomprehensible error message.

Gordon Brown’s foray during his premiership into YouTube in order to promote his plans for reforming MPs’ expenses was widely panned. So what lessons should be drawn by anyone thinking of using YouTube to strengthen …

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged , and | Leave a comment

Worth a second outing: Six ways to get more people watching your YouTube videos

Welcome to a series where old posts are revived for a second outing for reasons such as their subject has become topical again, they have aged well but were first posted when the site’s readership was only a tenth or less of what it is currently or they got published and the site crashed, hiding the finest words of wisdom behind an incomprehensible error message. I’ve slightly updated some information to keep it current.

It’s fairly cheap and easy to produce videos and make them available to the world via YouTube these days. But how do you get people to then …

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged | Leave a comment

YouTube publishes party leader video responses

Until earlier this week it would have seemed a good idea to use the day before the final party leaders’ debate to launch the leaders’ answers to YouTube’s Digital Debate questions. Gordon Brown, a live mike and the word “bigot” rather buried the whole story which is a shame as the questions and answers explore a range of issues beyond the well-trodden ground of most of the mainstream media coverage.

You can watch the answers over at http://www.youtube.com/ukelection – and in particular look out for Nick Clegg’s very strong answer on the Digital Economy Bill question.

Posted in General Election and Online politics | Also tagged | Leave a comment

How YouTube is being used on the ground in the general election

Richard Osley as an entertaining piece on his blog titled, “The You Tube War: Hornsey and Wood Green”.

I’m not quite sure what Lynne Featherstone will make of the description of her as an “old aunt” 🙂 Not very gallant of you Richard, but the full description is friendly:

One of the reasons, Featherstone has been a hit locally, it seems, is her obvious knowledge of the area and her apparent interest in even the smallest of issues. She is the interfering old aunt that the fragile Labour council in Haringey must be sick to the back teeth of. Featherstone has after

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged , , , , and | 1 Comment

LDVideo: Vince Cable’s best bits from Ask The Chancellors

Welcome to this latest LDVideo instalment, highlighting video clips from last night’s Ask The Chancellors debate on Channel 4.

Vince not only speaks the most sense but provokes the best reaction from the audience, getting more rounds of applause and even warm laughter.

On bank bonuses:


available on YouTube here.

I warned of the recession:

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 2 Comments

Electioneering the social networking way

So you’ve been selected as a candidate for council or general election as a Lib Dem. Hurrah! The first step on the path to world domination and ever-lasting glory has been taken, and now you’re wondering what the next step is. You look at your campaign budget. You realise that thruppence ha’penny and a tin of organic pasta sauce is not going to go as far as the Ashcroft millions the Tories have access to, or the union funding of Labour. You’re going to have to use all your wiles and cunning to even get noticed as a member of …

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged , , and | 3 Comments

Another step forward on modernising Parliament’s YouTube rules

The Guardian reports:

A ban on broadcasting video clips of the proceedings of the House of Commons on YouTube could come to an end in the coming weeks after months of delicate negotiations between the Palace of Westminster and broadcasters led by the BBC.

Existing rules forbid YouTube or any other website, such as a newspaper’s, from embedding any clips of parliamentary proceedings – meaning that the only way to watch parliament online is via the news clips from the major broadcasters, live on the BBC’s Parliament channel or the Westminster website…

Jo Swinson, the Liberal Democrat MP for Dumbarton East, has long

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What happens to MPs’ websites when Parliament is dissolved?

There was a little flurry of interest last year as to whether MPs with “MP” in their Twitter name would face a problem after Parliament is officially dissolved for the general election. That’s because after that point technically no-one is an MP and you’re not allowed to call yourself an MP if you aren’t one. That story was rather over-played though it did spur me to dig out quite what the sanctions would be, which in turns out isn’t that simple a question to answer.

But what about MPs’ websites and text on them saying they are an MP? That is potentially …

Posted in Online politics and Parliament | Also tagged | 1 Comment

Digital Economy Bill: Parliamentarians reply to prospective candidates

Yesterday we covered an open letter from 25+ Liberal Democrat prospective Parliamentary candidates (and see also this comment from ex-MP Richard Allan), expressing concerns over the line the party had taken in the House of Lords on a key part of the Digital Economy Bill. The party’s DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) team has now replied in turn with another public letter.

Two things to note when reading it. First, this sort of public exchange of letters is unusual, but very welcome. Although journalists sometimes struggle with the concept of a party that debates policy openly

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 52 Comments

Book review: learning from the Obama and McCain online advertising campaigns

Campaign ’08: A Turning Point For Digital Media is a slim volume by Kate Kaye, senior news editor at ClickZ, taking an in-depth look at the online advertising used in the 2008 Presidential contest for the primaries and then the general election.

Though the book touches on other aspects of internet campaigning, what makes it stand out from the crowd of competing volumes is its focus on advertising.

It starts with a reminder that there is only one John McCain: the McCain mocked in 2008 for not getting online campaigning is the same McCain who was feted in 2000 for getting online campaigning. Indeed, in many ways it was his 2000 campaign that put online political fundraising on the agenda in the US, just as Howard Dean’s 2004 campaign put online organising on the agenda.

Posted in Books, LDVUSA and Online politics | Also tagged , , and | 1 Comment

What do the public want politicians to get up to online?

The Hansard Society has a new report out which asks the public what they want out of politicians and the political system online.

Although many studies have looked at what politicians do or don’t do online, those looking at what the public actually wants are rather rarer. That makes this a particularly welcome report and is based on:

Two samples, the first is a national survey of individuals who are already online and the second a group of ‘digital leaders’; individuals with a strong interest in social media and politics. The first group is representative of digital Britain and the second group are the ‘early adopters’ of social media and digital technologies.

In many ways the report paints a positive picture, concluding that the country has:

An online population who are actively involved in civic and political life and who see the internet as beneficial for this.

However, this optimism should be tempered with the knowledge that other research has often seen people draw a distinction between being interested in issues and seeing the connection between them and voting, political parties or election results. Although the report has apparently very healthy figures for the proportion of people who have got engaged with the political system, this includes registering to vote – an important and welcome step, but one whose inclusion boosts the headline figures.

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

How is Parliament doing at catching up with the existence of YouTube?

We’ve covered before the campaign by Jo Swinson and others to change the antiquated Parliamentary rules which ban MPs (and in theory other people too) from placing footage from Parliament on YouTube.

Here’s the latest from Jo Swinson about the campaign (via an update sent to fans of the campaign on Facebook):

Posted in Online politics and Parliament | Also tagged | 2 Comments

Video: Don’t let the Tories airbrush history

Last week the Conservatives produced a video about their history and “greatest achievements.”

Now the Liberal Democrats have rebutted their “progressive” claims with: “Don’t let the Tories airbrush history” – pointing out a few things they missed.

Posted in Lib Dem TV | Also tagged | 7 Comments

Parliament edges towards allowing footage to be put on YouTube

Good news from Section 10 of the minutes of a recent meeting of the Commons Administration Committee: slowly, cautiously the House of Commons is moving towards allowing Parliamentary footage to be put up on YouTube.

Credit to Jo Swinson, who has been campaigning steadily on the issue and kept it going through the slow wheels of Parliamentary decision-making.

Here’s the relevant part of the minutes:

The Committee considered a paper from the Director of Broadcasting (Tim Jeffes), about the use of parliamentary footage on searchable websites. As agreed by the Committee at a previous meeting, he had agreed with PARBUL a

Posted in Online politics and Parliament | Also tagged | 1 Comment

Join Nick Clegg online for The Great Debate

Posted in Lib Dem TV, News, Online politics and YouTube | Also tagged , , , and | 1 Comment

YouTube ‘cos we want to: Jeremy, David and Paddy

Another instalment in our occasional series rounding up political videos doing the rounds – for this special Friday night edition, we’re delving back a little further into the archives to recall three of the great Liberal leaders of the past few decades.

First up, here’s the only clip I can find of Jeremy Thorpe, being questioned by a studio audience alongside Jimmy Saville (how times change):

By the way, if you’ve never seen Peter Cook’s magisterial ‘biased judge’ summing up from 1979 at the conclusion of the Thorpe trial, click here and enjoy 12 minutes of the finest satirical comedy ever staged.

Second’s up is David Steel, here represented by the famous excerpt from his leadership speech in 1981 – yes, that’s right, the “go back to your constituencies and prepare for government” one:

Posted in YouTube | Also tagged , , and | 3 Comments

Video: Nick Clegg on the European Elections

Nick Clegg gets a lot of questions via Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Friend Connect, as well as through his website, NickClegg.com.

He’s just made a new YouTube video with answers to some of the questions he’s received through his social networks:

What does Nick think of compulsory voting? The Lisbon Treaty? Watch and find out:

Posted in Europe / International, Online politics and YouTube | Also tagged and | Leave a comment

Opinion: e-Campaigning in Kent

So I’m sitting in front of my laptop desperately trying to think of some new way to campaign that will complement shoving pieces of paper through letter boxes and isn’t just having yet another website.

I’m quite convinced, by the way, that only a limited percentage of even the best leaflets get read on their way to the recycling bin – and many local party websites only get visited by activists anyway.

And then my mind goes back to the lecture I attended at City University by the bloke who did Obama’s e-campaigning – and suddenly the brains …

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged , , and | 6 Comments

A big shout out to da Hertforshire Lib Dems as wicked ‘Six to Fix’ rap goes massive

Respect to the Hertfordshire county Lib Dem crew – hear da Telegraph now:

Cllr Allan Witherick, 30, the youngest member of Hertfordshire County Council, has unleashed his rap star persona to promote a new campaign launched by his party. The Six to Fix campaign highlights six key problem areas in Hertfordshire, from poor roads to a failing home help system. And Cllr Witherick has decided to spread the word through street music, ahead of the county council elections in June. In what he describes as “a funky mix with a little bit of flare”, he attacks the six main failures of HCC in his 100-second rap.

Check dis and chill:

Posted in Humour, Local government, News and Online politics | Also tagged and | 19 Comments

Six ways to get more people watching your YouTube videos (updated)

This is an updated version of a post I wrote in February. Thanks to everyone who made suggestions via comments, email, Twitter and carrier pigeon.

It’s fairly cheap and easy to produce videos and make them available to the world via YouTube these days. But how do you get people to then watch them? Here are six tips to get you started on building your YouTube audiences.

1. Go local with YouTube

Most YouTube videos done for a political purpose get relatively few views. If you take a look at national videos from the main political parties, viewing figures are usually at best in the thousands or tens of thousands whilst it takes millions of votes to win a general election.

However, at the local level where views are often in the hundreds, it only takes hundreds or thousands of votes to win. That’s a good enough ratio to be able to make a big impact.

(There is a role for YouTube on the national stage, particularly in communicating with niche audiences such as party members, but it’s always worth remembering what the much-hyped and expensive WebCameron is reduced to these days: www.webcameron.org.uk simply takes you to the main Conservative website, where WebCameron is nothing more than the title given to their latest David Cameron film. All a  far cry from the hype regurgitated at the time of launch by the likes of The Guardian: “Tories unveil their secret weapon … watch out BBC, ITV, Channel 4, we’re the new competition”.)

2. Get your YouTube information right

Around 45% of online video views come from people visiting a video site and then searching or browsing around (source: TubeMogul). When they are doing this, the title and description play a big part in determining whether or not people decide to watch the video. Make it sound interesting. Make it sound relevant. Don’t use political jargon. And give a clue about what the viewer will get out of watching it.

Good: What is happening to the Anytown High Street development? William Gladstone MP explains all.

Bad: Footage of Anytown Council Planning Subcommittee meeting on my new camera. Sorry about the poor lighting and the sound which is very hard to hear but turn up the volume and it might be ok.

YouTube also gives you the chance to specify exactly where the film was made. Entering a postcode means the clip will then appear on Google Maps (for people who have the option to display films on the map ticked). This can provide a nice little stream of extra traffic. You don’t know exactly who is deciding to look at your film through this route, but unless your film is at a location such as a sports ground or tourist attraction, there’s a high chance that it is people living in the area or thinking of living in the area.

Posted in Online politics | 7 Comments

At last, it’s the Eric Pickles cock-up on YouTube

There may be one or two of you who haven’t yet seen the toe-curling embarrassment that was last week’s attempt by Tory party chairman Eric Pickles to defend MPs’ second homes on BBC1’s Question Time. Well, if you’re one of those those two people, then sit back and enjoy because it’s now been uploaded to YouTube for our viewing pleasure:

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 8 Comments

Six ways to get more people watching your YouTube videos

UPDATE: An updated version of this post was published in April 2009, which you can read here.

It’s fairly cheap and easy to produce videos and make them available to the world via YouTube these days. But how do you get people to then watch them? Here are six tips to get you started on building your YouTube audiences.

1. Go local with YouTube

Most YouTube videos done for a political purpose get relatively few views. If you take a look at national videos from the main political parties, viewing figures are usually at best in the thousands or tens of thousands whilst it takes millions of votes to win a general election.

However, at the local level where views are often in the hundreds, it only takes hundreds or thousands of votes to win. That’s a good enough ratio to be able to make a big impact.

(There is a role for YouTube on the national stage, particularly in communicating with niche audiences such as party members, but it’s always worth remembering what the much-hyped and expensive WebCameron is reduced to these days: www.webcameron.org.uk simply takes you to the main Conservative website, where WebCameron is nothing more than the title given to their latest David Cameron film. All a  far cry from the hype regurgitated at the time of launch by the likes of The Guardian: “Tories unveil their secret weapon … watch out BBC, ITV, Channel 4, we’re the new competition”.)

2. Get your YouTube title and description right

Around 45% of online video views come from people visiting a video site and then searching or browsing around (source: TubeMogul). When they are doing this, the title and description play a big part in determining whether or not people decide to watch the video. Make it sound interesting. Make it sound relevant. Don’t use political jargon. And give a clue about what the viewer will get out of watching it.

Good: What is happening to the Anytown High Street development? William Gladstone MP explains all.

Bad: Footage of Anytown Council Planning Subcommittee meeting on my new camera. Sorry about the poor lighting and the sound which is very hard to hear but turn up the volume and it might be ok.

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged | 1 Comment

Searching YouTube: two handy sites

YouTube’s built in search facilities are pretty good for finding clips based on keywords. There are though a range of other free tools which search YouTube and present the results in different ways. Two of these are likely to be of particular interest to people involved in politics.

Mappeo: searching an area

Mappeo lets you see all the recent films added to YouTube plotted on a map – handy for people wanting to see what’s been added in their ward, constituency or region.

This only works on films which have had their location set by the person who uploaded them, but many …

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment
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