Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Labour to "crowdsource" election poster

The Labour Party has said that it will "crowdsource" an election poster in a move that underlines the growing attempts by the main political parties to use social networking tactics to help win popularity in the run-up to the general election.

Labour has said it wants its supporters to submit ideas for its next poster based around "Labour's pledge to protect frontline services and David Cameron's lack of substance".

The winning posts would then be displayed on digital poster sites in Manchester and London over the Easter weekend.

Unsurprisingly though, the plans were criticised by an ex-member of the Tory party who writes under the alias Tory Outcast. The anonymous blogger accused Labour of failing to understand what the term crowdsourcing actually means.

"What Labour is doing is not crowdsourcing. They are encouraging individuals to submit posters and then one of them will be picked by a central agency. The only way this could be considered crowdsourcing is if they pick a design that several people have submitted and even then it is a weak example of it," the blogger said.

"The point of crowdsourcing is based on the wisdom of the crowds principle. A large group of people are encouraged to make suggestions, vote on them, alter them, continually update them until a final product is reached which is not recognisable as belonging to or being designed by any single person but by the crowd as a whole."

The spat underlines the importance both parties are placing on social networking innovations and discussions. Last week the Tory party attempted to crowdsource the public's response to the budget on the Your Budget Response 2010 web site.

Last week, new research by social media agency Yomego put the Tories ahead of Labour in terms of popularity online, with a score of 73.12. Labour was second with 63 while the Lib Dems came third with 62.
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