I’ve been in discussions where pundits confidently declare that the benefits of the new, user-based, social communication technologies will flow disproportionately to progressive politicians.
Would that were so. The Tories in Britain are about to launch Webcameron. The Guardian reports:
The site has taken ideas on sharing video and images from YouTube.com and flickr.com, and also social networking sites such as MySpace. Steve Hilton, Mr Cameron’s closest adviser, and Sam Roake, a 26-year-old former Google staffer who is in charge of the party’s web operation, have masterminded the development of the site alongside Head, a digital agency.
“Politics is absolutely a key part of the general cultural change that the internet has brought about,” Mr Roake said. “Opening up like this involves a certain amount of risk but we’re confident that on balance it’s going to be a great thing – it heralds significant change in the way politics has been done.”
Apparently in Tory leader David Cameron’s first video blog on the site, he declares: “Watch out BBC, ITV, Channel 4, we’re the new competition. We’re a bit shaky and wobbly, but this is one of the ways we want to communicate with people properly about what the Conservative party stands for.”
I really want Gordon Brown to be the next prime minister and to crush Cameron in the next election. But Webcameron shows there are some very clever people involved with the Conservative campaign. “Shaky and wobbly” could be the new bywords for direct and authentic (however confected the product may actually be).