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.