The Thick of It

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lazy Islington LibDem blogs: follow my leader

I was recently quoted in an article in the Islington Tribune highlighting how Islington Council Leader (Lib Dem) James Kempton had abandoned his blog because nobody was reading it. After narrowly keeping their grip on power after the 2006 local elections, Islington's Lib Dems claimed they had learnt their lesson, that they needed to listen to the people of Islington more.

Starti
ng a blog was one of Kempton's means of listening. A blog can be a powerful tool for leaders if used properly. Putting yourself into the social media sphere means you are prepared to take part in a conversation, not just to talk at people. A blog lets people make their point and to engage their leaders in a debate.

Kempto
n gave up too easily, had he tried harder he might have found that it was worth listening to his electorate. They might have given him some ideas. However, he chose to give up, perhaps because listening is not that important to him, rather, he would prefer to say he is listening and hope people think that is enough.

Kempton stated in the article that if people wanted to keep in touch with him online, they could check his Facebook page. FYI, Kempton's page shows he has 126 "friends". Not many have taken him up then. Further analysis of his friends list shows that virtually all of them are fellow Lib Dem members (Bridget Fox, Meral Ece, Nick Clegg...). Not really a cross section of the public.

O
ne of Kempton's IslingtonLib Dem colleagues, Meral Ece, has been succesful at blogging, despite not having a whole "executive support" office to support her, unlike her boss. Kempton didnt even have to write or promote his blog, that is the job of his support team.

I
n the interview for the article I mentioned that another of Kempton's colleagues, Islington South Parliamentary candidate Bridget Fox, had started blogging for The Guardian as a result of her personal blog. I checked her Guardian blog today and noted that...it has died too, just like Kempton's. Fox's Guardian blog hasn't been updated for four months. Whoops. I shouldn't have mentioned that. Her personal blog does get updated though. You can find that for yourself.

5 comments:

Mark said...

Here's a thought: did you check whether or not The Guardian had stopped the blog, or did you think "Oooh, someone in another party! Must be there fault! They must be stupid! Ha! Ha! Ha!"

Would be a bit boring to check facts, but impress me and tell me you did :-)

Timmymc said...

Why would The Guardian have stopped the blog? Most Comment is Free pages continue for an indeterminate time?

As you asked so nicely, I am awaiting feedback from the newspaper. I will update you.

Timmymc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Lucy Powell (Labour) and Charlotte Leslie (Conservative) are also 'lazy' on your terms as none of them has posted since last year.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/series/thecandidates

Unless someone can find a more recent link? It looks as if this is a Grauniad change.

Is your pal Lucy lazy? or do you owe Fox and apology??

The Duloks said...

Please write more about Andy Slaughter & teach me how to make risotto please

Mira