Yesterday, ABC Radio National had an interesting item about political websites, particularly those using video. They interviewed John Tobin from Boston who has this site which he updates daily and which has some video content (a sort of “do it yourself” doorstop).

you think about it, this is probably a significant development. Apple
and Google are now offering video content over the net, and media
players (and Telstra) are thinking about it here. By the time of the
next federal election, nearly 2 years away, many people, especially
young, uncommitted voters, will be looking for information this way.

So how are our politicians handling this at the moment? The leaders only offer dull, static web sites like: John Howard and Kim Beazley (Peter Costello’s web site is even worse, if that’s possible).

So how about the young guns? Malcolm Turnbull and Peter Garrett
have put a bit more work into their site. They still have all the dull
stuff (maiden speech, what committees I belong to etc.) but they are
better. Interestingly, the page layouts are very similar, although the
credits at the bottom of the pages refer to different web design companies.

Ozemail executive Malcolm Turnbull probably has more content, but
neither of them have video content, a serious, daily updated blog,
or a way of providing feedback (apart from just an email address). John
Tobin asks you to subscribe to his web site, so presumably he has a
forum and news feeds.

Our politicians are simply not up to speed
and it’s time to embarrass them into getting serious about web based
campaigning. Really, the parties should consider this when they
select candidates at the next election for marginal seats, which are
probably full of aspirational, internet-savvy voters.

The politicians are always desperate to get the doorstop and 5 second
item on the TV news. Why not promote your website and talk directly to your
electorate? The internet media “revolution” has been a promise for
years, but I think it is now happening, and life could be very
different by he time of the next election.