Wednesday, 27 May 2009

#askDC - David Cameron's Open University live streamed speech and social questions

Yesterday, David Cameron, leader of the UK Conservative party, gave a speech to the Open University.

David Cameron at the OU
Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!
David Cameron at the Open University (picture by @documentally)

This speech was streamed live on the internet and questions were then taken from the event audience, from Twitter and through CoverItLive. After the event David Cameron also recorded an AudioBoo for @documentally.

David Cameron Open University live streamLive stream screengrab of David Camerons Open University speech

David Cameron Open University CoverItLiveScreengrab of the CoverItLive interactive questions for David Cameron at the Open University

The use of Twitter and other social tools by David Cameron yesterday attracted a lot of attention. There were 12 pages of tweets using the #askDC hash tag and #askDC became a global trending topic. A large number of the #askDC tweets were genuine questions along with people retweeting the event (though there were obviously a number of people trying to score political points as well as silly tweets about David Coulthard or asking 'what swan tastes like?')

The most interesting thing with the #askdc speech though, is that it is very hard to find any analysis of the points he made, all the noise online is about the fact that he was using Twitter and social tools. The speech theme was 'the need for change' with David Cameron continuing to position himself as the man to take the UK forward and, as we saw so prominently with the Obama campaign, adeptness with emerging social tools is an effective way to drive the association with 'future.'

Social is fast becoming an important part of the UK political scene (blogs forcing advisers to resign, policy being announced on YouTube etc) and it may well be that regardless of policy, David Cameron is in a better position than Gordon Brown to take advantage of it. Whilst social media will not win an election by itself, it will be interesting to see where this all ends up - especially as the UK electoral advertising restrictions (no ads on broadcast media) have not been amended to include YouTube, streaming and other online areas.

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