Friday, 26 June 2009

Who is least trusted?

Well according to this MORI poll I've dug up from late 2008 it's journalists, with a net rating of -55%.

'Politicians' come in at -52%.

So is it entirely rational for politicians to use the other least trusted people, journalists, to try and change their reputation?

Thursday, 18 June 2009

How are the political parties doing campaigning online

There's a feature in PR Week this week examining this.

It's fairly straightforward, with this conclusion on the Lib Dems:

The verdict
Outside contenders. Good tools for local activists are let down by terrible design and weak integration. Bloggers fare better, especially at a local level, and overall understanding of social media is impressive. Pack’s departure leaves some very big shoes to fill.

You can find it here.

Seeing people not stereotypes

I'm continually amazed at how much we all fall into stereotyping old people, rather than recognising them as being just like everybody else.

As pensioners gradually choose to go online this seems to be changing to me as pensioners are refusing to stick in their designated areas, and are out their challenging our prejudices.

This posting, from my amazing great uncle, makes the point brilliantly:

From schooling (what there was of it) I became a pilot. And when the war ended I started in medicine (scotched by TB), stage designer, landscape artist, traveller and illustrator, sculptor, writer of books and articles, and back to being a painter – with lots of little bits in between.
And all along I have brought up children, run gardens, run houses, cooked for all and sundry, as well as creating two small, experimental vineyards.

You can read the full post here.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Minor internet trend of the week

These have been around for a while, but I'm still amused by 'literal video’ versions of music videos.

In other words re-singing a music video so that the words fit the images.

The current major hit is a reversioning of Total Eclipse of the Heart:

My favourite so far is Take on Me

Monday, 8 June 2009

TFL's great use of text

Very simple this.

TFL allow you to sign up for travel updates by text.

I've just got one alerting me of a tube strike tomorrow night.

And directs me to the website for more information.

Extremely simple but in its own way perfect.

The elections online

The different strengths and weaknesses of different media channels were very obvious watching the election results over the last few days.

The traditional media did a good job of comprehensive analysis both online and offline, but hours after the events, so was usually my last port of call.

The legal constraints and lack of imagination of councils mean that while they run the whole process they are very poor at communicating the results quickly or interestingly.


Twitter wins hands down for being the fastest way to find new information about counts around the country. For instance a Twitter search on ‘Bristol’ directed me to a good source of results on Bristol council’s count on Thursday night.

For the really targeted stuff, like who won the local council by election in my backyard, text messages were faster than anything the councils did, or indeed any other medium succeeded in doing.


Facebook’s status updates worked well at telling me results relevant to my Facebook friends. So I found out, for instance, about the Conservative to Lib Dem swing in Sutton courtesy of Tom Brake’s Facebook update.


The BBC worked well at giving me answers to questions like ‘What percentage of the vote did the Liberal Democrats get compared to 2004?’

However the BBC didn’t bother with sub regional results online, even though nobody really cares about regional results until they are finally announced. So for questions like ‘Who has done best in the European results in Burnley?’ discussion forums were a far better source of results.


Discussion forums such as Vote2007 and the comments threads on ConservativeHome, LabourHome, Lib Dem Voice and Political Betting were excellent for gathering together softer gossip and the feel of counts as they went on.

This is exactly the sort of thing that CNN’s panellists gather up superbly during American elections. But British forecasters seem to be comfortable with pundits who have never run an election campaign, so have very few links into the grassroots campaigns.