McBride & Draper: New Media, Old School

14 04 2009

A month ago I wrote a piece on this blog about Derek Draper and how unsuited I thought he was to lead Labour’s social media campaigns.  I pointed out that he had recently been suspended from the social network de jour – ‘twitter’.   

Little did I know what I had unleashed.  Derek blogged about me using false quotes and misrepresenting my recently published book.  He e-mailed me stating “your legal threats are pathetic,  i can – and will – pour a bucket of shit over anyone’s head who has tried to do the same to me” (sic).  He later the same day emailed many of my colleagues and others in the PR industry with links to his “satirical” blog post.

This was very small beer in comparison to what was in the pipeline for the proposed ‘Red Rag’ site.  Derek Draper and Damian McBride are of the old school ‘command and control’  approach to political media management.   They just don’t get the openness that the social web brings with it.  If you deceive or intimidate there is every chance that it will be made public.  The Guido Fawkes Order Order blog that they appear to want to emulate is anti-government and you just can’t replicate that if you represent the government.

Also of the old school is Tom Watson, the Cabinet Office Minister with overall responsibility for ‘digital engagement’.  The debate rages still as to whether he knew about ‘Red Rag’ but if it had reached the stage where content suggestions were being made by one of his charges then he should have.  The point is quite simple; like Draper and McBride he doesn’t understand the implications for open and transparent politics that come with citizen media.  If you don’t get it, you can’t run it.





It’s April Fool You Twit(ter)

1 04 2009

poisson1April Fools Day has always provided a license to the media to print and broadcast outlandish and far fetched tales.  This year more than ever social media has followed in the footsteps of its conventional cousin. Heres are some of the best. Please use the comments section to add your own and if you are wondering about the fish …ask the French.

Youtube’s ‘Country Filter’ has resulted in UK viewers getting Australian settings all videos they view, resulting in inversion of clips and text.

GMail has introduced an autoresponder that reads and responds to your e-mail so you don’t have to.  The problems kick in when two parties both turn it on “two Gmail accounts can happily converse with each other for up to three messages each. Beyond that, our experiments have shown a significant decline in the quality ranking of Autopilot’s responses.”

 @shengri_la: i changed my birthday on FB to april 1st just to mess with people. and also to see who actually knows my bday.

Labour MP Tom Harris backs a blogging counter terrorism bill “from April 2010, every British blogger will have to submit each post for official approval”.

The Guardian will publish its content exclusively on twitter consigning the print editions to the footnotes of history.   The Guardian and Twitter will also launch Gutter, a service designed to “filter noteworthy liberal opinion from the cacophony of Twitter updates”. 

….Oh and the entire internet is being rebooted.

Press F13 on your keyboard to access a complete list of today’s social web April Fools pranks.








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