Aussie politicians and MySpace

So seventeen Australian Federal politicians have launched MySpace pages.

You know, I’m more disappointed than excited by this news. Not because they’ve actually put themselves on MySpace, joining the social computing world – which is great, mind you – but because they’ve demonstrably been badly advised.

Here’s what they should have done:

  • put up the MySpace pages
  • put up pages on Facebook. For example, here’s the Facebook page for Democratic Presidential hopeful, Barack Obama (no idea whether this is official, but it certainly contains all the right information);
  • started blogs that they actually wrote (rather than a staffer) so they could actually engage directly with their constituency online. And keep moderated comments open on the blog so that well-behaved feedback, both positive and negative could have been seen

Not terribly difficult.

Whoever’s advising Australian politicians on both sides about social computing and its potential impact has no idea.

In an election year, where connecting with your constituency is more important than at any other time, they’ve made a bad choice. There’s no way that these politicians have made this move by themselves, so it’s obviously a case of wrong advice, resulting in them pitching to the wrong audience.

Their socially networked voters aren’t on MySpace, even in a country with compulsory suffrage like Australia. They’re on Facebook and they’re reading blogs.

7 Replies to “Aussie politicians and MySpace”

  1. Actually my local MP Malcolm Turnbull is on facebook – he’s got about 450 friends in a week so doing pretty well.

    His wall cracks me up, he’s a sample of some of the comments.

    – Malcolm, can you word me up next time you guy’s are going to mention ‘solar power’ – I need a days lead time to buy some more Solco shares.

    – Just wondering, if in your upcoming policy update, you could include a bottle of garnier fructis? I believe it would enhance your image.

    – #1 best looking pollie in this sunburnt country or ours ;)

    – Hi Malcolm. Our office manager had facebook blocked on our work computers. Are you able to do something about that?

    – G’day Malcolm, now I know your a very busy man but my friend Shannnon is having a 21st birthday party in Dunedoo next saturday and your invited. B&S theme and BYO Keg, will be a blast!

    Kevin Rudd is also on it, but they have hidden his friend list, I assume until you friend him. I’m not going to add him to find out cos having Kevin Rudd as a friend will totally make you lose any street cred you might have.

  2. […] The seventeen Australian Federal politicians who have recently launched MySpace pages have made “a bad choice” according to social computing evangelist Stephen Collins, who says: “Their socially networked voters aren’t on MySpace” […]

  3. @Steven – agreed. And that’s what I said in my dot points.

    If these people want to go online and use social computing as a way to connect with their constituents, they absolutely should. But they need to make sure they’re connecting and I don’t think MySpace is the ideal place. It’s one of several places and methods they should be leveraging. Which is why I think the advice they’ve received is bad – it failed to get them to leverage all the right opportunities and in fact chose the least ideal opportunity.

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