Friday, December 21, 2007

2008 hails the death of WebCameron

Oh dear. In May this year Webcameron was redesigned. The changes made a site that was quite free and open, restrictive. At the same time much of interactive functionality was removed. Now the site has been merged into the main Conservatives website instead. The forum has gone completely, and the functionality of commenting is basically a pile of crap.

What started as an innovative and brave idea has been gradually reduced to the all too typical corporate malaise of banal discourse. Funny that it should happen as the polls start to become better and better and the need to control a message becomes ever more important. A quick look at the reaction to the change tells you all you need to know.

The email sent out to registered users yesterday opened by saying "[t]here are exciting times ahead for Webcameron". Well that's nonsense, there are boring time ahead for Webcameron in 2008 because it is now just an add-on to a corporate website where even more interactivity has been removed.

11 comments:

Mike Rouse said...

Disgrace! Shame on them!

kozmicstu said...

Well said, Dizzy. You've said what all of us were thinking!

I hope they see the error of their ways, but I just don't see it happening. WebCameron is dead, and the thing that made David Cameron an interesting political candidate is gradually withering away with it.

Having said that, the man himself does appear to be doing quite well at the moment and I say good luck to him. His internet team need to get a clue, though.

Stu.

David said...

To be fair, Dizzy, under its old format, it was full of wibblers going on and on about 'teh troot' behind 9/11.

dizzy said...

That is what you employ a full time moderator for

Leon said...

Very well said Dizzy, very well said indeed. Why on Earth it won the Ch4 Political Award for innovation I don't know...

Machiavelli's Understudy said...

This seems to be a problematic trend within the Party. WebCameron actually did quite well to last so long.

The Party has a habit of launching potentially good programmes of online and new media campaigns, only to let them whither and die after the first hurdle has been jumped. Like me, the Party is not a 'completer finisher'.

Remember all those campaigns that were launched with great fanfare? Ofspin? The 'Tosser' site? 'Follow the Money'? All great ideas that such a fuss was made over, but eventually allowed to drift away, be downgraded in their functionality and scope of activity and then just be forgotten about...

It is much like CCHQ's attitude towards supporting local associations with national campaigns. Some good ideas, but nobody wants to take on the responsibility of getting the job done properly or be in it for the long run. Stand Up, Speak Up is a prime example of that... They provided the initial fanfare and we were supposed to provide the substance without any notice, somehow (I remember asking the slightly inexperienced-sounding girl who was running the campaign how it was being delivered to the wider public on CCHQ's part- "oh, we're putting in a big advert in tomorrow's Telegraph". Mmm. Good idea- that'll reach out to them!).

I suspect there's an institutionalised mindset of risk aversion at CCHQ- nobody wants to be too bold or persist with new ideas. Far safer to just tinker at the edges and retreat to the middle ground when things are looking a bit uncertain- that way nobody gets the blame, nobody gets fired and nobody has their reputation in tatters.

I would much rather CCHQ did not do these numerous campaigns if it meant that they could just concentrate on getting one or two of them right and deliver them as long-term relationship development or campaigning programmes.

canvas said...

Well said, Dizzy. Webcameron was unique and the forum had people from all walks of life discussing politics and the issues of today. You could have discussions about absolutely anything and DC would respond on a regular basis.

DC broke his promise to us - he let us down - and he has treated his Webcameron community in a shabby manner. I can only guess that this is how he would treat the electorate if he becomes PM - i.e. with total disregard.

How very disappointing.

Tizzy said...

Thanks, Dizzy, for a spot on comment.

Politicians don't like the internet and put little to no effort in proper moderation. Yet they quite happily take the taxpayers money for setting up their vanity projects.

You just might have recruited a few more members!

Cheers and Happy New Year!

canvas said...

It gets worse and worse for Webcameron. They are now removing comments from people complaining about DC trashing his forum. That's a classic Labour tactic. Oh dear...

Richie UK said...

Removing the Forum, full of extensive debates, is a real backward move for DC. It reduces the interaction and free democracy on his website, to the banal one -sided "big conversation" of the Labour Party.

If DC does not want the great British to debate ongoing political issues like the Criminal & Immigration Justice Bill...then why would anyone vote for him?

DC is losing touch with real people.

Jordan said...

Well said Dizzy & happy new year Canvas! I think my pensions blog was a bit too embarrassing for them as they, like our Labour pals, are looking forward to a gold plated retirement! It was great fun exposing these political hypocrites and I'll have to do ir all again.......somewhere else.