Here’s an update on some of the interesting developments in online campaigning as our federal leaders are trying out web 2.0 mediums to get their message across.
I said earlier that it would be interesting to see what happens as the politicians try these new platforms to try and reach the younger generations. Well, it is.
Both the PM and the opposition leader now have myspace pages and have been busy collecting ‘friends’ – though from a quick glance at some of the comments, I can see that there are many ‘friends’ who are not even old enough to vote. At the time of writing this post, Rudd had 10526 friends, and Howard had 12743 friends.
Despite having slightly more friends, the PM seems to having a tough time of it online. Last week, he launched a YouTube video about climate change that was met with more scepticism and abuse than positive comments in the forum – at least, that’s what The Australian reported. The video itself was hard to find, as typing in ‘John Howard’ in the YouTube search brings up more mock videos than anything else.
A typical comment on Howard’s video was: ‘Wait, the Libs are on YouTube now? Right, it’s officially not cool anymore’. Apparently, the problem with John Howard’s video was that he was ‘stiff’ and ‘fake’.
There’s a lesson to be learned here by anyone who wants to try out social media for marketing purposes: make sure you understand that this is a particular culture, and the people don’t appreciate an outsider trying to use them for a marketing gain. You have to give them something back.
Social media is about being part of a conversation – engaging in a dialogue and responding to the public. John Howard hasn’t convinced the YouTubers that he is on their side.
Perhaps he needs some online reputation management…