Netroots UK was a hugely impressive and well attended event.
I had my Council surgery first thing so I only arrived at the end of the morning session. I went straight into the "Engaging with politicians online" workshop.
Picture is of Tom Watson MP, Rachel Gibson (Manchester University), Matthew McGreggor (Blue State Digital) and Mark Pack (Liberal Democratic Voice). I'll post further details on conference tomorrow.
Some stuff I found interesting during this panel discussion but was too tired and emotional to blog on my return last night (it had had been a good night).
Mark talked about “drive by democracy”. Problem with e-petitions. He would like to see a Council site were instead of just submitting your view about a planning application it actually links to those who support or who are against the application.
Tom praised the unions for taking the on-line lead and mentioned Unison for having “on-line branches”. Online petitions do not work. Standard campaign email gets standards response. Bespoke gets bespoke response.
Rachel pointed out 16% of voters used political website in the 2010 election compared to 3% in 2005. Small but growing. Rachel also described twitter as possibly being an elite conversation but with Facebook there is a broader appeal (which I agree).
Someone from 38 degrees website defended “Cloned emails” by saying 2/3 of those who send standard emails to MPs have never contacted their MP before. So this is a good thing.
BTW I was surprised bearing in mind this type of conference how many people present were taking notes on the discussion with pen and paper. Next was a brown bag lunch and fringes. I went to the “beyond Obama” fringe and will hopefully blog soon but a teeny-weeny bit busy at the mo.