After all the pre-campaign excitement, this is turning out not to be the digital or Internet election. But blogging is still doing well amid all the debate hype.
Yesterday, on The Daily Politics on BBC2, I spoke about whether we were having an internet election or a TV election. As I tweeted before I went on air, I’m quite clear that it’s the latter. We also touched the uses of technology in door-to-door campaigning including innovations like the #labourdoorstep hashtag.
If there had been more time I would have said three things in defence of blogging in this election:
1) Blog traffic is up dramatically: over the last month our traffic has increased by 45 per cent and I’d be surprised if the same wasn’t true for many others (especially, I suspect, UK Polling Report). People are clearly using blogs – and the Internet in general – to find information on parties, policies, and candidates.
2) The blogs are becoming an important part of the leaders’ debate experience The progressive liveblog across Left Foot Forward, Labour List, Liberal Conspiracy, and New Statesman (and similar platforms on Lib Dem Voice and Guido Fawkes) provide a place for people to share their thoughts instantaneously. Meanwhile, 35,000 people used twitter and thousands more used facebook during the debates. But caution is needed here since this makes up under 1 per cent of the 9.9 million people who watched the debate.
3) The blogs are also critical for the post-debate analysis. On Friday and Saturday, we ran a series of pieces examining Cameron’s claims on China, Bulgarian cancer stats, and poking fun at his love of an anecdote. Other blogs and fact check websites did similar pieces of analysis. All this helped provide material for the established newspapers who also examined these claims.
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