Your Ken – Livingston launches social campaigning hub

Yesterday the Ken Livingston for London Mayor campaign launched a social campaigning hub.

The site is quite clearly an off-the-peg offering that in all likelihood has been used by countless candidates across the USA.

But who cares?

Reinventing the social media campaigning wheel would be completely pointless for a team that has a tiny budget and the output would be unlikely to measure-up to the prefabricated ones from the States.

Unsurprisingly, given that it has probably seen plenty of frontline political action, the site is very tight and works like a dream.  The Twitter and Facebook API’s work well and it contains all the tools (donate, invite friends etc..) that you’d expect.

The feature that most impressed me was the activist leaderboard.  You can score points by doing both on and offline activities.  Presumably turning up to do some canvassing on the doorsteps of Cockfosters will earn you enough points to see you comfortably to the top of the podium.


Turns out the photo of the Labour supporters used at the top of this blog was taken outside the house of the incumbent Mayor, Boris Johnson’s house.  Oops.

Obama joins Foursquare

President Obama has joined location-based social network Foursquare.

The platform will see the President, using the handle ‘The White House’, posting information about the places he visists and creating events for supporters to ‘check in’ to.

Foursquare is an easy tool for politicians to add to their social media armoury.  It’s a quick, free and painless way to tell constituents, supporters and journalists ‘Oi! I’m here listening and engaging with your locality.’

If Foursquare had anywhere near the number of members as Facebook or Twitter, it would doubtless be a ‘must have’ tool for all politicians.

Perhaps having Obama as a user will swell the numbers and Foursquare will become as essential a tool as the trusty risograph.

(hat tip @ciaranward).

Political ads outperform brand ads in Iowa

SocialVibe provide online display advertising units and are used by many of the world’s biggest brand advertisers to offer people something of value – such as credits for online games – in exchange for interacting with an ad.

So far so normal.

However, SocialVibe recently ran some research in Iowa – a key state in the upcoming Republican primary elections – that showed that the politically-themed engagement ads were shared at more than twice the rate of a typical ‘non political’ SocialVibe campaign.

People are meant to hate politics and hate political advertising even more, so these results really are surprising.

If I owned a shed load of online media space in the UK, I’d be busy trying to flog these engagement ads to political organisations and parties.

Republican Party – Change Direction

A nice little anti-Obama advert by The Republican Party national committee.

The line of attack for The Republicans over the next year or so are already very clear – massive national debt, high unemployment, a bloated state and raised taxes.

As it’s unlikely that Obama will be able to rectify any of the above in the minds of many Americans before the election, the Democrats really do have their work cut out for them to retain the Presidency.

(Thanks to Alex for sending on)