Solving the World's problems with common sense and a flamethrower.

Friday, April 18, 2008

To David Cameron - On The Use of Social Media

The letter below was sent to the office of David Cameron MP - I will update when (if) I receive a response.

Dear Mr Cameron

As a long-time Conservative voter (and an Oxfordshire resident), I was disappointed to note that your team are using Twitter ( incorrectly, and in a way that is not helping your cause.

I believe a great deal of the current 'voter apathy' is caused by what can only be described as 'soundbite politics' - the compression of important topics into a banal cliche timed perfectly for the news. This has led to misinterpretation and disillusionment in the electorate, and is something that desperately needs to change for confidence to grow again.

Twitter is a superb medium for communication. It allows you to spread the word about your policies, using that 'soundbite' as a stepping stone to link to deeper commentary on your issue. However, where your use of social networking currently falls down is in the MISuse of it as a one-way, broadcast medium.

Social Media sites such as Twitter and Jaiku are not the same as television. They are the online equivalent of a room full of intelligent people, all having a conversation. By engaging with, and responding to, the people who respond to your comments on Twitter you will differentiate yourself from the other political entities using Social Media. You will be able to gauge opinion and gain positive feedback. You will discover that the people on there can engage with you and, over time, become advocates for your policies.

I would ask you to please talk to the team handling your Social Media presence, and ask them to work on following, and interacting with, those that are interested in politics and what you have to say.

For what it's worth, you already have my support and confidence as Leader, and should you wish to discuss this with me, I would be more than happy to chat with you or your team. I can also put you in touch with Social Media experts (one of whom is a Conservative Councillor) who will also be happy to assist.

I look forward to receiving your response.

Yours sincerely

Neil Simmons


Anonymous said...

Neil , thanks for your comments. Being the Social Media person I might point out that adding a link in your article should ( if they are smart ) allow your entry to appear in their Search results. Something like the following

Clearly every Political Party and leader that do not engage with the public where they are will remain out of touch. Hopefully this will give you and them some feedback.

Thanks for the post and the comments but I f I might make one small correction. I am a Parish Councillor and I vote Conservative.

Thanks again.


George Walkley said...

Neil, I hate to tell you, but I believe that is actually not an official Conservative party activity in any way, but is in fact a project run by - see his website at for details. Cameron was one of several politicians who stml gave this treatment to; others included Messrs Blair, Brown and Campbell. So you might not get a meaningful answer from Cameron's office (though it would be clueful of them to take your suggestions.)

Dungeekin said...

Thanks for the comment, George. However, prior to about two weeks ago, the link on was direct to 'webcameron' - and additionally, the content linked to is authorised by the Cameron team.

That was why I pointed out that his *team* aren't using Twitter right - the likelhood is this has some form of PR approval which can be fed back to STML.