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Politicians in Social Networks – yawn?


Yeh I know, pollies in online communities is boring, but here’s an interesting debate at broadband’s most powerful online community, Whirlpool (WP), posted half an hour ago:

Does Whirlpool have a formal policy on what sort of contributions political candidates can make here?

A few weeks ago, I ran upon the site of a NSW senate candidate with very forwarding thinking IT/broadband/comms/energy related policies. I pointed it out with a thread in OtI which was promptly deleted for being promotional.

Yesterday while idling in a Linux-related IRC channel, I read someone (who turned out to be the same person!) saying how he was trying to introduce himself on WP and its forum readers. After having his first thread deleted for being promotional, he asked a mod what would be acceptable, and after posting a new thread within the guidelines, it was also deleted.

This is more of a question about political candidates on WP in general, not just this specific instance. You see posts in Broadband General and ITN about needing pollies who listen to us… I’m just hoping we don’t turn them away.

I recognise WP not wanting to be full of political spam, but possibly allowing pollies/candidates to create a single thread where they can introduce themselves and answer questions would be great (similar to how the ‘Voice over IP’ and ‘Other broadband’ forums work, I believe – each VSP/ISP has their own “official” thread.)

If anyone is curious and wants to know who I am talking about, feel free to Whim me.

If you don’t engage your consumer/voter in the discussion, they will have it anyway. And by the time you’ve caught on, it will be walled up, in a gated community, and you – the company/politician – won’t be welcome. I found it intriguing that the community wanted the politician to rant and rave about his ‘views’ and soapbox, but not politicise. I can almost grasp the difference. The quote was :

WP isn’t a soap box for self presentation, it’s a soap box for the presentation of views, questions and opinion.
(clarified later with:)
He means it’s a soapbox for presenting VIEWS. So for example, Mr politician comes in and says “this should happen!”, but he wouldn’t say “im gonna make it happen vote for me”.

Tough to call that distinction.

If memory serves me correctly, the Honourable Senator Kate Lundy had /has a WP account, and used it when she was the Shadow Minister for Communications.
[Edit: Used in the sense of 4 posts, but she hasn’t been online in 2 years

Kate Lundy blogs – almost no comments.
Can you see what is happening? Whirlpool gets more vistors than Optus and only slightly less than Telstra, and these politicians can’t get in. And it’s not like Broadband, as an issue, is going to go away soon. So politicans talk to themselves on blogs which no-one comments on, and if they try to join communities, they get deleted.

So much for representing the people, huh? Time to go back to the drawing board. Some political bloggers are well set up. Andrew Bartlett, a Democrat Senator from QLD, for example. Hey pretty purple Andy! 😛

How galling that searching for Kate Lundy blog brings up Andrew’s blog first and Kate’s second. I’m not talking sponsored search or keyword ads, just normal search engine optimisation and the Google Love that blogging brings. Note to companies/politicians: get involved, get communicating and listening, get blogging your ideas, or not only will you be left behind & out in the cold, but the gated community will actively lock the door against you. *click*

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

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