Saturday, September 30, 2006


This appears to be getting posted up this morning as I write.

A couple of quick thoughts:

1) Why didn't they send a cameraman along with Greg Barker? He appears to be filming himself and it makes an utter mess of the bit at the start. I'm pretty certain that if you were to offer a trip to Washington and meeting McCain you could have got a volunteer for the price of a ticket and a cheap hotel.

2) Of course McCain has been to England...

3) Perhaps try to make the interviews a little more substantial. If time is very limited discussing the contents of his flat might be somewhat less interesting than the thoughts of an American Presidential hopeful on the following:

  • How he envisages the special relationship.
  • Iran.
  • Europe (this would make it less of a love-in).
  • China.
A lifestyle piece requires a lot more time to luxuriate in your surroundings.

4) I'm very curious as to how all the "Write", "Upload Pictures", "Upload Video" etc. will develop. It will all feed into the "Open Blog" but its effect will depend on how rigorous the standard is for 'approval'. If, as seems likely, anything not definitely offensive is allowed up then it might become rather attractive to the crankish.

However, if it functions in a similar manner to Conservative Home's platform, as a way for people to request a spotlight on ideas/articles they are particularly proud of, then it might work quite well. This might require a bit of explaining though so people understand that they won't get angry rants etc. published on a site so closely connected to the party.

That's all for now. We'll see how it develops but I'm very hopeful. Any expanding of the Conservative web presence will strengthen the advantage the right already has on the web thanks to its fine blogosphere. If the two can help each other develop further then we should be able to put the left's patchy Internet presence even further to shame.


Jonathan Sheppard said...

I think you are right - it needs to be given a chance. But DC comments that "It's not a gimmick at all. I'm going to give a lot of time to it." I am pleased that it will actually allow some feedback on the site which is something that some journalists who set up blogs failed to do.

Could we ever have imagined mr Blair doing this - or dare I say it - a Brown blog??

Anonymous said...

My thoughts were that it has a lot of potential but I am slightly distrustful of informal style videos that have been edited.

I guess what I am really looking for is for this to show that it is done by DC and not a group of PR merchants, and for it not to become too cynical.

I think it is very important that anyone can have their say, and that DC responds to it rather than removing negative comments from the site, or just ignoring it. That will be a key turning point in political blogging for me.

Anonymous said...

Cameron on YouTube.

He's also left some easter eggs, including monkey gums, and some Englandallstars videos:

I wonder why? Perhaps to create more of a story?

Matthew Sinclair said...

Whoever you are Anonymous where on Earth did you find that monkey gums thing? It is a touch bizarre.

What on Earth is an .flv file?

Matthew Sinclair said...

Ha! I've figured it out now. You need a standalone flash video player.

That's quite funny and is evidently what they used to test the site's video capability. Good job finding that one m'boy.

Anonymous said...

I see the latest batch of moderations have occured on

My comments however have not been "Greenlit".

There's no statement on moderation on the site. The name of the interactive section is the "Open Blog" which currently appears to be a misnomer. The FAQ states - "The Open Blog is a shared space where anybody can write a blog post and post videos."

There's a need to separate the quality comments from the junk on a site like this which is attracting lots of comments, his site's approach is awful, which is particularly inexcusable when there's so many sites out there doing it well.

Matthew Sinclair said...

I don't think its a technological or organisational problem. I think they just haven't defined it clearly and properly. Is it a Platform style request to publish a piece or is it a forum style write what you want within reason?

Either could work, although the latter is risky when connected so closely to the party but the real problem is if you fall between the two.

Anonymous said...

I got a YouTube message from englandallstars

englandallstars claims to have written the site, and says the commenting system isn't up yet, and that an RSS feed is comming.

It looks as if the current commenting system (the "Open Blog") wasn't intended to be used in the manner it is being used in for comments.

That leaves the question - why the site was launched on the front page of a national newspaper before it was functional?

Anonymous said...

Cameron's responded to some of the response to webcameron in a new video post:

The BBC have an article suggesting he's even responded to the big question of who actually does the washing up:
Why can't I find the video of DC and the Dishwasher on Webcameron - which video is it in?

They've put some RSS feeds uo too - which is excellent - Cameron's rather distancing himself from the medium though by dismissing comments and RSS feeds as "rather technical".

Matthew Sinclair said...

Lol... that BBC story is the most stupid item of journalism I've read in ages...