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The Internet And The NDP’s Halifax Convention

August 17, 2009

Now that the NDP convention is over, I think it is a good time to have a look how the Internet and social media were used during the convention, and what improvements should be implemented for the next time.

Unlike many other New Democrat bloggers, I was unable to actually attend the Convention. Therefore, I had to rely solely on the internet to remain updated on the events of Convention. Suffice it to say: I wasn’t disappointed.

Internet coverage of the convention was second to none. The NDP brought live coverage of the event right off their website, and saved clips of the most important speeches to watch later. This act alone allowed me to be up-to-date on convention happenings, and heck, even blog about them.

Other perspectives and analysis from blogs, twitter, and photos were gathering at a single website, democratslive.ca, created with the volunteer efforts of Devin Johnston and others. Up to the moment live blogging of the event was provided by Ian Capstick at MediaStyle allowed for gather more analysis, perspectives, and sometimes needed clarification.

But while Internet and social media coverage at the convention was top-notch, there are always ways to improve things for next time. Here are my suggestions:

  1. Release the resolutions document to the public on the internet on the ndp.ca website. Let’s face it, in this day and age, they will always be leaked to the public at large. I figure if the party releases them first, they will be able to add such things as disclaimers that these aren’t passed policy, blunting those that like to go for the rather cheap attack of gathering the craziest, most unlikely to pass resolutions to try to make the NDP look less mainstream than it is.
  2. Find some way to have simultaneous translation from the live coverage at ndp.ca. Watching the live coverage, when the convention spoke French, there was no translation. Considering my French is a bit weak, it was hard to follow along sometimes.If simultaneous translation of the live coverage is impossible, then saying just the resolution numbers in English and French would be enough to help watchers (with a copy of the resolutions), follow along.
  3. Create a social media rapid response team. Conventions have a funny effect on the blogosphere, as just when the party becomes the focus of online smears from members of the Liberal, Conservative, and Marijuana Parties, the NDP’s online activists are at their weakest, as they are a) too busy at convention; or b) don’t have intimate details of convention by not being there. A social media response team would be able to help counteract this temporary weakness.
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  1. August 17, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Re: point 3… Ian and I were talking at the Tweetup about the possibility of the party setting up a blogger/social media table at the back of the convention room, just in front of the regular media table. It would make it a lot easier to pass out press releases to them and feed them insider info.

  2. August 17, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    I found that I didn’t have any idea how to help out. So I just ended up antagonizing Larsen’s gang of potheads. The party might want to look into doing something about that for the next convention.

  3. August 17, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Totally agree with point 3, especially. It would have been good to have an official party tweeter sending out updates on the debate. Jack’s updates were all well and good but not helpful when we were trying to figure out what resolution we were on! But a way to get bloggers or social media types insider deets would be good too. The potstravaganza on twitter was a tad annoying

  4. August 18, 2009 at 11:32 am

    They had translation on CPAC’s live Internet feed.

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