Join the DUP’s Flickr Group?

Talking about crowd sourcing, it looks like after sitting on its proverbial new media ass since 2003, someone in the DUP is off again in the right direction. Not only has finally set up a proper Flickr account, it’s got a group in which it which it invites people from outside the party to take part. It’s close to a point I made in my video contribution to the SDLP’s recent party conferenceMake yourselves as open as possible to the wider community in which you are founded… As with Slugger, the openess comes with formative rules. In this case:

This is a group about the Democratic Unionist Party – you don’t have to support the DUP to join the group but it hasn’t been set up for people to post anything insulting &/or abusive about the DUP.

Any pictures posted must have some relevance to the DUP and the adminstrators reserve the right to remove any abusive or offensive comments without question.

,

  • William

    ‘….set up for people to post anything insulting &/or abusive about the DUP.’

    ‘…the adminstrators reserve the right to remove any abusive or offensive comments without question.’

    Does the latter part contradict the first part??? Typical of the DUP….still trying to DUPe the Unionist people.

    Kilsally obviously has time on his hands…eh Alan?

  • DUP Photos

    Mick,
    Glad you like the flickr group.

    Hope you’re going to add the pics from the Slugger stream which I sent invites to as well as the fine words! 😉

  • Mick Fealty

    William,

    You don’t get it do you? You have been playing fast and loose again with the play the man and not the ball rule here on Slugger.

    Those kinds of rules are vital, IMHO, to running a coherent and useful space. If you don’t have them you sink; pretty much as the Love Ulster site did from saboteurs.

    DP,

    I will when I get the time, no doubt we can help fill in some of the backstory for you.

    The critical thing for me in this is to capture a citizens view of the party. Good stuff; good resource.

    Hopefully others will take your lead.

  • Tony

    Shouldn’t that be DUPed Photos?

  • William

    Sorry Mick….wasn’t playing the man…Alan is an old mate, even though he is in the DUP…nothing malicious in the post.

    However, I know the camera never lies….pity the party aren’t the same…lied to the Unionist people to win the last election, as you are well aware !!!

  • Mick Fealty

    Just try and respect peoples’ decision to remain anonymous. I don’t trade in what I might or might not know about our users, neither should you.

  • Bemused

    Fuck. Me. Pink.

    The glasses of water. The glasses of orange juice. The bowling. The eighteenth century set-dancing. Nicholas Winterton.

    Where, how, when can I join this wonderful group?

  • William

    A few photos of that well-know country singer, Willie McCrea but none of the DUPe’s Hard-Rock group, ‘Ian Og and the Developers’…

    Wonder why??? Has he been sin-binned or what??

  • William

    And none of Sammy and the bird in the RAW???

  • William

    In recent times old Nic Winterton was seen chatting to Dr. No…then lo and behold he comes out to rubbish the agreement between the UUP and the Tories…then the DUPes uploaded 2 year old pics with more recent ones and old Nic is present at a DUPe beanfest….coincidence….!!!

    Like my erstwhile friend Andrew Hunter, former MP for Basingstoke, for whom I worked in 1992, he is leaning on a broken stick, when he throws his lot in with the hyprocrites in the DUP.

    So Mick, whilst you may think that a slideshow of posed pics of the DUPers is progress, I don’t feel the same enthusiasm for the picture parade…. ‘Wanted for selling out Unionism’ above their heads would make the pictures more attractive to me !!!

  • Mick Fealty

    I’m not talking about ‘Progress’ in any political sense. But progress in taking advantage of an open commons.

    I suspect the sand-boxing opportunity afforded by the Councillor.info site has been partially responsible for this kind of playful innovation and the outcropping of Sinn Fein and SDLP Bloggers.

    I would like to see a virtuous circle taking place here, in which each party seeks to learn and steal the best ideas from each other to leapfrog one another.

    We’ve a European election coming up which could pay back some decent returns for the party who finds imaginative ways to engage and energise their own people on line.

    And we have our own plans in hand to bring forward some innovations in regard of tracking and improving the content of that contest too..

    Bring it on…

  • … in which each party seeks to learn and steal the best ideas …

    They have always had the ability to do that, Mick. ‘New media’ are just media, after all – they could have competed on paper (or stone, in the case of the DUP 😉 ), but never really did. Why would the web encourage anything innovative when previous dominant media never did?

    Or do you think that people vote for parties with flashy web presences, rather than their favourite tribal champions? At best, a flashy site will probably only move people around within their traditional blocks, if anything.

  • William

    HORSEMAN

    After all the DUPes stole the clothes of the UUP…after calling them ‘Traitors’, ‘Lundies’, ‘Judas’, etc., etc., so they have form in stealing from other parties….!!

  • Co. Down

    Good to see the DUP and Queen’s DUA on flickr.

    What about facebook and bebo?

  • The Raven

    Mick

    Using the common sites, such as Facebook and Myspace seems to be patchy at best here.

    I note the DUP’s Facebook site only has 120 or so members. Sinn Fein’s has 2200. One is meagre and the other more so.

    A couple of quick observations:

    Shinners. 2000 members is pretty good. But don’t forget they do all that *ahem* marketing abroad, and to a degree, can be evidenced by doing a quick trawl of members.

    But do you think having your “wall” application plastered with slogans will attract new voters? At 20:21 this evening, the first wall post on Sinn Fein’s site was from a nice young Italian chap saying “Our revenge will be the laughter of our children… Tiocfaidh ár lá!”.

    Great for the core audience; but if core audience is all you are aiming for, then why bother with Facebook?

    DUPs. You have an inward-looking party that doesn’t do much (or as much as the above) overseas. So the lesser number of foreigners is probably to be expected. And let’s face it, once a Prod gets out of here, he rarely looks back.

    Your front page comments are a little more subdued, suggesting that there’s an eagle eyed moderator checking in every now and again. And people on tinternet don’t like that. Let them loosen up a bit. Bit more sleggin’, but within reason. Also, look at the resources that your friends in Sinn Fein post on their site. There’s at least an attempt to explain “the cause” there. Pics of the Laird of Dundela doing a wacky thumbs up are cheesy, by the way.

    There are some interesting articles about using tools such as Facebook for campaigning purposes out there. A quite insightful one is here

    There are others here and
    here

    I learnt something from using Bebo for consultation work – and by the way, once I write this next bit, I have no idea how you’d implement it when it comes to a political party – don’t badge your common site with your logo. In fact, don’t refer to your party at all on the page, whether it be facebook, bebo, or myspace.

    All you’re attracting is the converts. Social sites are, in my own opinion, best used for causes or promoting a particular issue.

    Parties therefore need to be a bit more “cute” about how they reach out to the digital generation. Perhaps cute is the wrong word, and insidious is the right one. Anyway, these are just observations.

    Sorry this is incredibly geeky, but there’s one phrase I picked up from some of the articles above which is incredibly pertinent:

    “People have to be inspired by the message. Technology alone cannot do that.”

  • Mark McGregor

    Where is that photo of Nelson taking photos of the Gaza support parade? I’ll have to dig it out.

  • All you’re attracting is the converts. Social sites are, in my own opinion, best used for causes or promoting a particular issue.

    Couple of months ago I came across these two articles:

    http://neoneocon.com/2008/07/08/arguing-politics/

    http://www.libertarian.co.uk/lapubs/tactn/tactn010.htm

    Ignore the fact they’re originally designed for the neo-cons, there’s loads of good advice there for political bloggers and commentators alike…the most important being:

    a) You don’t convert your political opponents (or at least, the amount of time you need to waste on converting the very small % who’re open to being converted, isn’t worth it )
    b)Preaching to or consolidating your own homebase is also valuable time wasted.

    For any political blogger the targe is first of all attracting, engaging and then hopefully bringing on board the uncommitted or more pertinently those few (ie journos and the *big* bloggers) who can influence the uncommitted.

    This is not to denigrate the DUPes’ efforts here, personally I’m sure I’ll find this interesting…but in terms of increasing (as opposed to that consolidation I mentioned)the support-base. What I find strange is alone amongst all the NI parties there are (afaik) no DUP blogs out there having a go at the evangelist side of things.

  • This is not to denigrate the DUPes’ efforts here, personally I’m sure I’ll find this interesting…but in terms of increasing (as opposed to that consolidation I mentioned)the support-base.

    Should’ve ended with a “?” not “.”

    Another good piece of blogging advice is “Never post after the second Bushmills”;)

  • The Raven

    Re: having a go at evangelists, oneill, it all comes back to the “converts” thing again, eh? 🙂

    Being very simplistic, what are we looking at here?

    DUPes looking to capture TUVs, UUPs, and what ever other party with U in the title they can get.

    Shinners looking to capture those final fourteen SDLP votes, and whatever else is passing by. Of course there’s the vice versa. And as noted in one of your links, oneill, preaching to the converted is “vital”.

    I’d argue that (if we just take) facebook, the respective party pages do *just* that….aaaaand pretty much nothing else. Which is where I am coming from. What’s the point? They all have, as Horseman calls them, “flashy sites”.

    No one would deny the emerging importance of Facebook in the USA elections in getting the message out there. Hilary’s weekly letter to her fans and beyond nearly became like a weekly radio address. Of course, they would have so many more floating voters than we would have – every medium counted.

    But I think what needs to happen in NI is issue-based campaigning on sites like Facebook. Say, for example, Daithi creates a Save the Giant’s Causeway Centre facebook page; Reg does the same with “Where have all the jobs gone?” (again, I’m being incredibly simplistic here).

    Everyone loves a cause, but introduce a political party (here) into the mix, and I think a substantial part of your mixed, online support would just melt away.

    I think there’s an incredible amount of new thinking that needs to be done on using these media. “The Facebook”, from its original beginnings, is only five years old; its current guise, about three. It receives over 130m unique visits each year. There have been kickbacks from the user population, but it remains the top social networking site in the UK, though not the US. And there is no major competitor in sight yet.

    On a recent (very small) bit of research I helped on this, by the way, I found only one Council in Northern Ireland used Facebook as a marketing medium on a regular basis. It is, of course, non-political. In terms of groups, schools and colleges, especially from an alumni point of view were very prevalent, followed by “i work for” based groups. Music and the arts events were highest ranking events, with religion-based events fast catching up. A large portion of the Northern Ireland companies which used Facebook were fledgling new starts, mostly run by the under-35s.

    While some of our parties display flashes of brilliance on occasion when it comes to marketing and engaging with their respective new and existing bases, I don’t think any of them have given serious thought to the full potential of this, and other internet media.

    Sorry for wittering on.

  • Mick Fealty

    Raven,

    It’s a quant/qual distinction.

    Notwithstanding the Herculean efforts of oneill, Chekov, Ignited and David Vance, Republicans have traditionally been better organised on the net. At least in a quantitative sense. Trans: they have the numbers.

    On one level that’s a deficit; and a very real one. Unionists have certainly suffered by it. But the guys I mentioned above though are not party hacks in any traditional sense of the word.

    They are doers. You may not agree with their doings, so to speak, but the fact is they are each building their own discrete audiences, each of them subtle (and not so subtly) different from one another.

    But, and here is the rub for nationalists, Republicans have tended to act within mass membership clusters without pushing towards the kind of individual expression that blogs can facilitate.

    I’ve been asked by Sunday Sequence to provide my own thoughts – in my modest role as a consultant on such matters – on the Vatican’s very early efforts at using a YouTube channel.

    The big thing that strikes me is that the number of subscribers to the channel absolutely dwarves the number of viewers of the channel’s actual output.

    That points to a passive or following membership rather than a body of movers and shakers prepared to make (intellectual) capital for the cause they believe in.

    This lag between actors and followers is Republicanism’s biggest failing on the net.

    Chris Gaskin – and although he is in a different space and working under vastly different conditions, Killian Ford – in my view is one of the few robust Republican pioneers (although Horseman is making steady progress behind them; if he sharpens up his act ;-)) in the political blogging world.

    There needs to be more their ilk if the qualitative deficit is to be made up.

    Going back to this move by the DUP, the critical element is investment in: 1, trust and 2, authority.

    Mao once said: “Let a hundred flowers blossom”. But personally, I would not set my ambitions so low.

  • The Raven

    “But, and here is the rub for nationalists, Republicans have tended to act within mass membership clusters without pushing towards the kind of individual expression that blogs can facilitate.”

    Nods in absolute agreement.

    You mention blogging again. I know I didn’t address that in my own posts, but I feel this is a very selective audience here. (When I say here, I mean geographically and in terms of the internet).

    We here on Slugger are reasonably “engaged” already when it comes to the topic – Northern Ireland culture. And I do not for a second doubt that there are blogs out there that have many thousands of subscribers.

    Again, like you have noted, I have wondered how many subscribers are actively engaged, and how many have strayed across one article, bookmarked the blog, and then perhaps have never returned again.

    I suspect – though please prove me wrong – that the latter is correct. There are many people who submit here who are active bloggers; but I rarely visit any of them, with the exception of Nevin’s which is geographically relevant to me.

    There are biggies, of course. Waiterrant, when it was anonymous, and the anonymous civil servant in Whitehall; the odd politician, or musician perhaps.

    Part of the lack of blog engagement, I think, is down to the famous sixty seconds of internet capture time that you have to “capture” a passer-by to stay on your site.

    Sorry, Mick, I’ve digressed again, but getting back to one point you made: “There needs to be more their ilk if the qualitative deficit is to be made up.”

    Do you think – and you know I am a fairly “green” unionist, so take this in the non-trollish spirit it is written – that given their track record, Sinn Fein really want to encourage such free thought…?

    Ironic that you quote Mao….erstwhile leader of a country where the government loses bowel control everytime you mention Google…

    Cheers