28 September 2007

The other campaign

One of the things to watch in this provincial election has been the media campaign, from the Tories low-key one to the Liberals' barely existent one. The new Democrats are somewhere in between, if that's possible.

There are the party websites, all of which represent the very best of Web 1.0 in a Web 2.0 world.

Even the Tory site, which is by far the best of the three party sites, is missing the sort of things that have become commonplace in political campaigns. Stuff like syndication feeds to allow people easily to access information from news releases. There's no campaign blog and even the whole layout is not designed to include people and invite them to participate. Rather, the party websites are simply devices for sending messages, not receiving them.

None of the political parties are using new media at all. No podcasting, let alone vidcasting.

There'll be more on this over weekend at Bond and Persuasion Business.

For now, let's turn attention to the unofficial contributions to the campaign, the stuff being put out by ordinary people.

There are bulletin boards on the Internet. There's good old nf.general, the newsgroup that seems to be decidedly uninterested in the campaign.

And there's youtube. Undisputed King or Queen of the genre in I.P.Freely. Sheer volume of output alone this year has dwarfed anything put out by the candidates. One of the original vids has had nearly 10,000 views since it emerged during the winter by-elections. A more recent vid on the campaign in Central Labrador has pulled almost 1,000 views in less than a week. [Hint for the professors out there: broadband access has nothing to do with it anymore than broadcasting does.]

Then there's one that cropped up in the Bond e-mail just this evening. It picks up on the raging political battle in Labrador and on something that the Tory campaign missed. Your humble e-scribbler, unrepentant townie that he is - the title townie bastard is already claimed - missed it completely as well.

In one of the streeters on the Tory website, at least two of the people refer to fighting for "Newfoundland". The first guy seems to be standing in front of the library at Memorial. There's an abrupt edit at the end of the word "Newfoundland' in the original, but that may mean nothing at all.

The second one is impossible to situate, but the phrase "Newfoundland" is unmistakable, as opposed to "Newfoundland and Labrador" or "NewfoundlandLabrador" as the province has become over at Voice of the Cabinet Minister.

The name of the province is a sensitive issue in Labrador.

Very sensitive.

Just how sensitive?

Well, the answer to that is in the intensity of the battles raging in the seats in Labrador, including the one held by cabinet minister John Hickey. He's the guy under attack in the 1,000-views video.