Who’s Who: starting gun fired

Jo Christie-Smith let us know earlier today on her blog that the Who’s Who in the Lib Dems Online website is now open for business.

Find out more and register to write your own entry, all by following the link from here.

I’m sure, the nation over, campaigners are putting down their sodden FOCUS bundles and chewing the ends of their metaphorical pencils as they carefully compose their entries.  This year, the website allows you edit and re-edit your entry until you have it just right – so long as its complete before the cut-off point of New Year’s Eve, when the print edition is finalised.  Even after the book is complete, the website edition will remain available and editable, and can be searched for a modest fee.

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  • Searched for a “modest fee”?!

    Potential vision of the future?:

    RIP Who’s Who in the Liberal Democrats,
    For we netizens who barely knew ye.
    You died a virtual death on the internets,
    Where everything should really be free.

    Seriously though – why the £12 fee for members? This seems to render the database unlikely to be used by the cash-strapped local parties who probably need it most. Local parties who can afford to splash 12 quid* on this will have staff who can look this kind of info up – and are those who need it less.

    *(and yes that is more money than you may think for people who wonder if they can afford to put a single B&W A4 Focus out in an election period)

    Although, that moan out of the way, props for using Joomla!

  • Hywel Morgan 22nd Aug '08 - 11:16am

    “You died a virtual death on the internets,
    Where everything should really be free.”

    But everything shouldn’t be free just because it’s on the internet.

  • Hywel, you are of course correct – there are some things on the internet that aren’t free. But people are used to free stuff will balk at paying for this service.

    If you want it to be used wisely and well by Lib Dems to further our cause then it should be free as many, many people will simply not use a service you have to pay for.

    And to charge *party members* for access to a database like this feels a lot like shooting yourself in the foot.

    Plus, its hard to believe that the online service needs this much funding to keep it up and running – surely the profits from the hard copy would cover the fairly minimal hosting and admin costs?

    Unless you/they/whoever plan to turn what should be a useful campainging/networking tool into something that will make a profit?

  • Free beer? At this time of day a nice cup of tea is in order.

  • Oh well, I’ll have an extra chocolate digestive for you.

  • Hywel Morgan 22nd Aug '08 - 6:36pm

    “So, Hywel, shouldn’t it be called ‘Who’s who in the Liberal Democrats and had £12 to spare’?”

    No as you don’t need to pay to go on it – just to search it.

    “Lastly, is there anything that the Lib Dem blogosphere won’t whinge about?”

    No IME 🙂

    There’s a case that “the party” should develop something like this for an exchange of members skills but I’ve no issues about the PCA charging for services it provides.

    In any case if this database is well used it would be a resource for PR type people that I’d have thought they’d pay more than £12 a year for.

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