Obama’s Online Guru : “I Don’t Think We Could Win the Re-election for Brown”

So says Blue State Digital’s Thomas Gensemer in The Times today. His firm helped Obama raise $300 million online. If anyone can do it, he can. Yet, with Brown in front, he thinks it is mission impossible. Labour are trying to fight back, but so far their only online campaign that has escaped from the politico-geek ghetto is John Prescott’s campaign against banker’s bonuses. That broke out of the few hundreds and made it into the tens of thousands signalling their support.
Putting aside the comedic value of Derek Draper, Labour’s efforts are undermined by the rivalries, whereas the Tories have one successful community site, Labour has four or five not very successful attempts to match ConservativeHome. They also don’t seem to have realistic expectations.

What is the point of Alastair Campbell’s videos? Nobody watches them:

Compare the number of views Campbell got to the two videos produced in the same week mocking Derek Draper and LabourList. Tens of thousands of views versus a couple of hundred views for Alastair’s efforts. Alistair got lots of press coverage for his efforts – even though hardly anyone actually watched them – because he understands how to manipulate the Dead Tree Press. The anti-Labour video guerillas understood what would play well on the web: humour.*

Prescott is doing a far better job of reaching out using authenticity, humour and his own celebrity. He has real box-office appeal and is better advised. Draper has, like Campbell, not really got a feel for online.

The coming general election is going to be fought online more than ever before. Labour are going to lose that fight badly if they don’t learn fast.

*The various Gordon Brown nose-picking videos have been watched three-quarters of a million times on YouTube. By far the most watched YouTube videos of any British politician.



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