Is Ed Balls Listening to YouTube Viewers?

I noticed that the Department for Children, Schools & Families has created a great looking channel on YouTube. While obviously welcoming the fact that the government is using YouTube to communicate with voters, it’s a shame that they seem intent on that communication being one way. Most of the videos currently featured on the channel, including the latest on the launch of the new Children’s Plan have had the comments function disabled.

It looks like another missed opportunity to actively engage with the very young people, parents and teachers covered by the Children’s Plan, via a medium they are all increasingly using.

There is the obvious irony of a ‘no comments’ policy while the clip highlights the importance of listening to and consulting voters. It also begs the question whether the DCFS really understands the new rules of communication when using social media channels. Thankfully it seems to be an error that the Lib Dems and the Conservatives have avoided.

My advice – don’t be afraid Mr Balls, turn the comments on, read them and then really engage.

Boris: London Mayor 2.0?

For anyone who’s watched Gordon Brown’s recent performances at PMQs its obvious that charisma is in short supply in British politics these days, so being invited to join the “I’m Backing Boris’ group on Facebook put a smile on my face. In the space of a week the group is up to 800 members and growing and yesterday afternoon somebody created the inevitable ” I’m Backing Boris” application which basically sticks this delightful poster on your profile. The introduction of applications has transformed the Facebook experience, I know they’ve not been universally welcomed – if anyone else tries to turn me into a Zombie I may well have to go on a crazed killing spree through the streets of West Hampstead!

It will be interesting to see how brands look to take advantage of the Facebook Platform and how the sites community reacts to the covert/overt commercialisation applications represent. I was sent a great link a few weeks ago to a keynote delivered by Mark Zuckerberg to over 800 developers talking about his vision for the Facebook Platform. There is a perhaps unsurprisingly a whiff of global domination in Zuckerberg’s presentation (albeit from a CEO wearing what looks like a hoodie), but his plans for creating new advertising platforms and a Facebook payments system is certainly going to be exciting. As for Boris, I think we’ll have to wait ’til Monday to see if he’s going to take on Ken!