Perspective: Why this General Election is actually a personal election
By Mark Cridge, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 30 April 2010 12:00AM
You may have noticed that there is a General Election on.
One of the benefits of our increasing consumption of news digitally is, in theory, the ability to filter out the stuff we don't want to see. In practice, with such saturation coverage, that is unfortunately easier said than done. More interestingly, the flipside of filtering out is the ability to zoom into just what we do want to see in much greater detail.
The much-lauded Obama campaign is held up as a shining example of digital at its best. The combination of tools and platforms to enable participation with millions of e-mails to solicit small donations that were then spent on traditional media has become a much-copied model.
The scale, financial requirement and length of the US campaign is of a magnitude greater than that which is taking place in the UK, yet parties of all shapes and sizes have rushed to wrap themselves in the cloak of change, with varying degrees of success.
This is particularly important in the UK with our Parliamentary system. Even as the media tries to cast this election as a titanic struggle between two "presidential" figures in the shape of the Cameroon versus the Broon, the reality is the really interesting battles are more often to be found in individual constituencies. All politics is ultimately local, after all.
The ability to zoom in and filter out should allow an unprecedented opportunity to follow our own completely personal, unique and particular view of the election campaign.
We're relying on this for the work we've been doing for the Green Party, with its "personal election broadcast", as we try to help Caroline Lucas become the first Green MP in Brighton Pavilion. But perhaps you'd prefer to delve deep into the fight against the BNP in Barking, where it's taken advantage of the collapse in support for the local Labour Party. Or choose to listen to the noise being generated as UKIP tries to unseat the Speaker, John Bercow, or indeed any one of the 100 other marginal seats around the country, each with its own particular story.
Amplifying that which is already interesting and relevant rather than settling for what the media push our way is a small step towards increasing participation and involvement.
With a combination of follows, friends, sign-ups, subscriptions and a little bit of effort, you can easily uncover captivating and lively debates and campaigns that actually affect real people's lives, rather than the manufactured set-pieces of the more traditional national campaigns.
That's the real power of digital campaigning. Capable of driving massive national efforts with multimillion-dollar budgets, just as comfortable getting up close and personal with the day-to-day issues of real life.
- Mark Cridge is the chief executive of glue London.
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk
- Artworker Fashion & Retail Personnel Consultancy £23000 - £25000 per annum + Outstanding Benefits!, London
- Senior Digital Designer become £40-45K, Central London
- Senior Designer - Digital Agency Aquent £40-£45k, North London
- Consultant Ball & Hoolahan £68,000 per annum, London
- Global Innovation Director Ball & Hoolahan £75,000 per annum, South East region