Wednesday, May 23, 2007

New Statesman Awards


I'm really chuffed that this blog has been nominated for this year's New Statesman award in the 'Elected Representatives' category. The nominator has said that this is,"An interesting blog with more comments than many other elected representatives' websites."


The comments are down to all of you, of course, and I think they keep this blog fresh.


I'm under no illusions that I'm going to win, of course, up against 26 MP's, 1 Welsh Assembly Member and another solitary councillor. If you wish, you can post your own comments on the awards website - any positive ones would be greatly appreciated, and may help the blog get through the shortlisting process!

10 comments:

Ian White, townliar.com said...

Nick
Has the Liar not been nominated? For its services to democracy!

miketually said...

I'm jealous - I've been blogging for years with no award nominations at all :)

Well done Nick!

Darlington Councillor said...

Many thanks for your comment on the site, Mike.

Ian - there would certainly seem to be a serious omission as far as the Town Liar is concerned. You will appreciate the irony that the New Statesman's Fleet Street nickname is "The Staggers", so maybe you were on a hiding to nothing...?

ian holme said...

Nick,
Whilst we have frequently had wildly differing opinions on a multitude of issues, it is refreshing to be able to express these views so directly via your blog.

Therefore, and i shall say this only once.... good luck!

Ian

Graham Robb said...

Congratulations Nick on your nomination.

Good use was made of new media in Darlingon at the recent election. I can see that although we disagree on Party politics we do have a similar approach to new ideas and forms of communications. You'd be impressed at the investment my PR firm is making in this field. We will have an internet TV studio at our premises soon.

I have put a non-political my space site up to see how many hits it would get (and plug the business) It is on myspace.com/grahamrobb

I recently visited California (some holiday but mostly to meet PR professionals) I learned a great deal about how the new media is likely to develop. Now the election is over I'd welcome a chance to meet for coffee and share ideas (on a strictly no-politics basis!!).

Best wishes

Graham Robb

Darlington Councillor said...

Thanks for that, Graham - and yes a coffee to chat some of this through would be very welcome.

On reflection, I thought we made a start collectively using new media at the local elections, but there's still a huge distance to go. I'm disappointed that Labour in Darlington still hasn't made much headway on the internet, and continues to rely on tried and trusted methods of communication. This blog is a small attempt on my part to plug that gap.

Both the Tories and the LibDems have websites of course, but they weren't very interactive. The Tories' use of video was for me probably the most exciting development, and offers the greatest potential for the future.

I got the sense, however, that collectively we were talking to ourselves in the main, rather than really reaching out. I know that some Haughton West residents do read this blog, which is great, but I've got a long, long way to go to get numbers up.

The test of the success or otherwise, of the new media will be when the traditionally hard-to-reach groups in society, which is terms of local elections includes younger people, really want to engage with us.

The only site which does this at the moment in the North East is Cllr. Mark Burton's Harrowgate Hill Community website, which mixes politics, local news, a forum and other lighter stuff. It's noticeable that visitors to that site seem to have a much different profile to those going to the mainstream political sites.

Unfortunately, blogger isn't the most flexible tool when you want to attempt something ambitious like Mark has done (albeit that it's very simple for technophobes like me). I'll be interested when we have that coffee to see how things are moving stateside.

miketually said...

I started to add a comment on the use made of new media by local parties, but when it started to get longer I turned it into a blog post instead: New Media in Darlington politics.

From both a personal and professional point of view, I'm very interested in the way these technologies are being used and look forward to seeing more.

As an aside, do you think there would be much interest from new (and not so new) Councillors if I were to arrange a "Political Blogging for Beginners" course for free or very cheap? I'm interested in trying to get politicians to engage with the public via the web and this is something I've been considering for a while (since my days of 'stalking' Alan Miburn).

Darlington Councillor said...

Thanks, Mike. I've put a call in to Linda Todd, the Members' Services Manager at the Town Hall to see whether the Council could take up your offer - I certainly hope so.

I'll post here again when I know more.

ian white, townliar.com said...

Nick, you write...
"The only site which does this at the moment in the North East is Cllr. Mark Burton's Harrowgate Hill Community website, which mixes politics, local news, a forum and other lighter stuff. It's noticeable that visitors to that site seem to have a much different profile to those going to the mainstream political sites."
Havent you missed another popular site off your list of one, or is it that I'm not a labour councillor?

Darlington Councillor said...

Firstly, Mike, from the soundings I've taken it would appear that matters at the Town Hall move at a glacial rate, and so early training for councillors to use new technology like blogs seems unlikely.

More positively, a number of colleagues are very interested in exploring new ways of communicating with residents, so I will be in touch to see if there's anything we can do.

Ian - as I've posted on the Liar, my comment was aimed towards the political parties rather than independent community websites. Of course, when you're ready to join the party (and I have a membership form here ready) the Liar will naturally be included in the reckoning...