‘Change We See’ – transparency for better, for worse…

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?

6 thoughts on “‘Change We See’ – transparency for better, for worse…

  1. Very interesting idea, I think that the use of the hash-tag might be something that could blow up on them, it seems some people have been posting inappropriate images on site which have been taken down too. “Change” is very much the key word of all campaigns at the moment doesn’t it? It would be very interesting case study to learn from, I would love to see their risk assessment of the microsite and use of those social platforms! One thing is for sure is that the use of social media will potentially engage a totally different audience than ever before, the internet will be a huge battle ground for the next election and it could get very nasty. On the plus side I think that long term this will be a great way of engaging young people into politics especially in their areas – maybe the Prime Minister for 2020 will have been engaged through the first fully (ish) online political election. Maybe that’s a bit too idealistic. Will this microsite be the way to go about things in future? Not so sure, but I do full support the idea of getting to the masses, time will tell if it will have any proof in the pudding. Thanks for sharing the article though, I found the article really interesting!

  2. oooohhhh, the backlash from this is going to be fantastic… I can’t wait to see the Lib Dems, and the blues, posting all the bad things that Labour has done… Wait until the general public realise what this innocuous little page means… (As frankly it’s pretty cryptic to most people).If they are looking for areas that they need to improve on from a perception point of view – this is most definitely the way to do it… I really hope for their sake that they manage it well…I’d prefer the pictures to be sucked in from Flickr (and from the uploads) and let people visiting this page decide if each picture actually was/is a “change we see” (with a simple voting mechanism like http://degrees.universityofwhatever.co.uk)… they could even geo code it, to see which areas actually agree with them… This would give them positive data as well as negative…All in all though… good luck to them, you have to start somewhere and this is a pretty brave (stupid?) move…Remember when the new Skittles (http://www.skittles.com) site first started? It was just full of nasty stuff, but it died down…

  3. It’s been a fascinating morning, there’s now a counter hashtag #ChangeWeSeek and a counter Flickr groupThe Telegraph have already jumped in on it as well: Labour: Change we see but you can’t photograph

  4. Totally agree Ross, it is one thing for Corporates to be nervous about opening up their products and brand to a real conversation but political parties? Could either be the saving of it (probably won’t) or they will switch off to it. Watching any MP always makes me think they don’t actually connect with the people they represent so a constant reminder that they have underestimated their constituents (as I find) might be too much….Nice debate though!

  5. @Jonathan Abolutely fascinating I agree. They *must* have been anticipating the flack..Kinda like that it’s opened up a can of worms – alternative memes and hashtags. But in a way – fair play to them for being there first with the idea.Delicious irony in people getting police-hassled for attempting to take photos in the first though…When I was at #idebate last week it did seem that Labour had the more grassroots movement and the Conservatives had the online Party Machine (echoed in Tweetminster’s research http://bit.ly/4Yz6lx) – it’s going to be an interesting few months until 6 May…@redeye ooh I like that University of Whatever microsite….given me *another* idea..I’ll email you 😉 thanks for your thoughts everyone.

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