So I’ve just seen The Labour Party‘s new crowdsourcing campaign Change We See. All looks present and correct thus far: Microsite? Check. Facebook page? Check? Twitter hashtag? Check. Flickr pool? Check. Encouraging local participation (and in essence – microvolunteering – as grassroots supporters are compiling a kind of casebook of local success for the Party)? Check. Wide open (and rightly so) to alternative stories being told and deconstructive debate? Check.
I’m not going to talk politics here (not what this blog is for), so I’ll just look at the tool itself – and I think it’s quite nifty, and would love to do something similar for my charity; but with some tweaks (had a very interesting chat with @redeye about all this type of stuff yesterday).
What I can already see though is the hashtag and Flickr group being used to point out negative change and counter-Government points of view – aggregating all of the ‘bad stories’ local communities can tell using Labour’s own shiny new hashtag. But was this part of the plan? It may well have been. By using these techniques to invite positive participation, you are also drawing out your critics and ensuring a heightened level of transparency – for better and worse. If they are smart, Labour will have counter memes to address any backlash to Change We See in terms of any local projects that may have gone to rot…
What any charity would have to be mindful of is exactly the same thing; all kinds of stories can come out of the woodwork once you trumpet about all the fantastic things you are doing right…but there will always be things you could improve upon, or are in fact *gasp* doing wrong. Social media is the place to be told in no uncertain terms about that! Will the inevitable backlash against Change We See eclipse what they are trying to achieve? Possibly.
Overall, the project has given me loads of ideas and also reaffirmed that I’m thinking along the right lines to develop some cool new digital campaigns and themes for the day job. The campaign has certainly helped me think of things I’d do differently. All hush hush right now.
What do you think? Do you hate it, do you love it? Can you hardly wait to see this Election played out (and played with) across your monitors, mobiles and iphones?