A step in the right direction for United Future

United Future

We are now less than a year out from the next election, so for many parties preparations for the campaign are starting. Candidates selections are under way, and parties are putting in place the ground work and training to set themselves up for the campaign.


Outside of candidate selections, the most visible sign of preparations are the changes occurring in the social media space, with parties using the next few months as an opportunity to try out new things, and test their systems.


A prime example of this is the new animated videos that United Future have started producing.

Facebook post

Facebook post


These are the first examples of an animated video that I have seen from United Future. It is well known that United Future were extremely resource limited during the last election. Now this was not totally apparent on social media, since that offers a relatively cheap means to campaign. However animated videos like this take more resources to produce that simple graphics or photos. So the fact that they are producing these indicates they are now in a position to dedicate greater resources to content production. Which is an encouraging sign for their ability to fund a general election campaign in 2017.

In response to Andrew Geddis (And Morgan Godfery)

This afternoon I spotted this tweet from Morgan Godfery, which is a screen grab of a comment  by Andrew Geddis on a blog post at Dim Post:


I said I had thoughts about it, but couldn’t fit them into 140 characters, so this is my response to Morgan’s suggestion to blog it.


From my point of view, which is all I am able to talk about, as someone who has seen themselves as being centre right, I have never voted for a local candidate because they are “centre right”.  I have used the limited information that is available to me to vote for people who will look after the basics of life, water, waste water, rubbish collection, local roads. And I don’t think the ability to do that is a left or right skill, it is a personal life experience thing. In fact most of the people I have voted for, I haven’t actually known what their political leanings are. The only one I can think of off the top of my head is Sue Kedgley, who I voted for not because I fully agreed with her views, but because I knew what her views were and felt that she would be good at fulfilling the role of a regional councilor.


Another element that relates to the above is the fact that what councils (be they city, super city, district or regional) are allowed to do is limited by law, maybe not as much as in previous years, but it is still limited by law, and the councils themselves have very limited ability to change the powers they have been granted. Whereas at a national level parliament, and executive, have a much wider ranging scope of what they are allowed and able to do. This may not be something that people are able to articulate as to why they vote the way they do, but I suspect it plays a role.


However, the bigger influence I think is the quality of the candidates. Because the left has traditionally done a better job of creating tickets at local level. These tickets are more focused and controlled, giving off a more professional image. Whereas many of the independent candidates, and some of the more recent tickets on the right, have presented a less than professional image.


In essence I think the people who vote at local body elections, all 35% of them, for the most part vote based on assumptions of competence, not on political leaning.

Jo Hayes…

I am really not sure what to make of this tweet from Jo Hayes, so going to leave it here, without any real comment, just for posterity’s sake!


Jo Hayes Tweet



Stuff have picked up on Jo Hayes tweet from this morning, and despite the headline, she is rather excited she made the news…


And her explanation for it is:


This view clashes with my thoughts on it that have evolved as I have thought about it during the day. A tweet like this is going to play well to a small subset of the National Party base, but for most people it is going to come across as sycophantic, with a serious lack of self awareness. So the potential upside for Jo Hayes was that it was going to play well with a small percentage of her small number of followers, with the down side, that has been realised, that it would be received badly by a number of people, and would then get picked up by the media. Meaning that it would be seen by a lot more people, the majority of whom would not receive it positively. Once again a back bench MP has failed to realise that the potential down side to being a smart arse on Twitter is significantly bigger than the potential up side… if there is one at all…

Budget Graphics 2016

I hadn’t been planning on doing any blogging on the budget this year, and technically this blog isn’t about the budget graphics so to speak. But I something has caught my eye that I wanted to talk about. Both of the major parties have started to use animated videos as part of their social media. Labour four out in the last 10 days, with National rolled one out today. I have embedded them below.


These make a great change from the previous options of either simple graphics or talking head videos that we have generally been seeing. Animated videos offer the ability to pack more information into a post than a graphic, but are more likely to be interesting and engaging, compared to a talking head video. Which can be seen by the fact that an animated video (left) posted by Labour on 23 May has around 3 times the views and 3 times the likes of a talking head video featuring Grant Robertson that was posted 5 days before.


However despite the advantages and changes that these videos bring, there are a few things that could be improved on, such as the addition of sound to some of Labour’s videos, or less repetitive use of the same basic figure model in the National video. Additionally National’s video runs around 40 seconds longer than any of Labour’s videos (2 min 10 vs 1 min 30), and I found it did drag on a bit. So it will be interesting to see if they continue to use videos of that sort of length, or if there is a shift to shorter videos. However the use of these potentially represent an interesting insight into the sort of content that we can expect to see in the election campaign next year. They are another step in the improvement in the quality and sophistication of the graphics we have been seeing, and along with signs of an increasing influence from US political social media. So I am really looking forward to 2017. Continue Reading

DDB Digital and Sky TV Bot Army

Today New Zealand saw another example of how not to do social. Dylan Reeve’s tweet alerted me to it.


Watching the video contained in it raised a number of questions. It turns out that Sky NZ, and their agency (more on them soon), thought it would be a good idea to build an army of twitter bots and make them available to users. To make use of the army all one has to do is tweet to #CommandTheUnsullied with a command and they will do your bidding. This has resulted in a number of people being bombarded with in excess of 900+ notifications, including Dylan and Jordan T. With Dylan calculating that the project has potentially sent around 138,000 tweets so far.

Continue Reading