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Labour Conference 2012: how is social media formed?

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 pm, November 13th, 2012 - 81 comments
Categories: internet, labour - Tags:

So, in an effort to make a post not calling for the head of David Shearer, I decided to take a look at the Labour Party’s conference webpages.

And oh boy are they a treat.

I’ve blogged before about Labour’s (or at least, Shearer’s office’s) poor grasp of social media, but whole new levels of “what r u doin” have been reached with this one.

The good:  pre-empt discussion with a hashtag like #Labour2012 so the discussion can be monitored/participated in widely.

The bad:  try to lay down rules about how people get to use their own personal Twitter accounts.

No, I’m deadly (depressedly) serious:

We encourage you to participate in the discussion on social media, and share your thoughts, photos and experiences online.

Labour looks forward to robust conversations on social media, but respectfully draws attention to the Comment Participation Policy that guides our engagement online.

– Stick to the topic. This will help the online discussion to flow and be more interesting, allowing ideas to develop in a useful way.
– Be Respectful. Profanities, name calling, personal attacks on fellow supporters, politicians or public figures are prohibited.
– No junk mail. No advertising or promoting products or repeatedly posting the same point.
– Have fun! Share your photos, experiences and the exciting ideas that are being discussed.

My urge to jump on Twitter right now and just tweet “FUCK FUCKITY FUCK FUCK FUCK #Labour2012” is strong, friends.

Um, Labour?  Your social media team … they do know how social media works, right?  They’re not just jumping on some “Barack Obama totes used social media so that makes it cool!” bandwagon, please God?

Sure, you aren’t going to respond to random abuse (unless Cameron Slater asks Clare Curran to guest-post again).  You aren’t going to retweet vicious personal attacks.  You reserve the right to block trolls.

But you don’t actually get to fucking tell other people what they may or may not tweet on “your” hashtag.  You don’t get to act like you have some kind of authority over other people’s participation in social media.

You do get to lay down the law on some sites, i.e. what people can and can’t say on your own Facebook page, but … that’s a bit different from “social media” as a whole.

Gods, what am I doing?  I’m trying to educate people who refer to tweets as

‘Live Tweets’

and expect conference attendees to charge the venue’s WiFi to their credit cards for fuck’s sake.


81 comments on “Labour Conference 2012: how is social media formed?”

  1. ” They’re not just jumping on some “Barack Obama totes used social media so that makes it cool!” bandwagon, please God?”

    Why not? They appeared to have jumped on the “David Shearer totes has a transformational, outside the beltway and inspirational background like Barack Obama!” bandwagon

    • QoT 1.1

      I know. I was just trying to retain my last sliver of optimism.

      • David H 1.1.1

        I am so glad I don’t Twitter or farcebook so I don’t get boring politician bullshit messages, altho I suppose I could spend my time twittering resign, endlessly.

  2. hush minx 2

    Well maybe they don’t want live tweets this conference _ actually that would be too organised for them…

  3. Kofi 3

    Who is ‘they’ and if they are a ‘they’ then who are you? All this in group/out group language makes me wonder about the agenda of most of these posts. Who takes the time out of their day to be so concerned about such trivial matters?

    • QoT 3.1

      Hey Kofi! I’m terribly sorry that my interests do not align 100% with yours. I’ll get right on to only posting about things you think are important!

      As to the use of “they” and “them” in this post, sometimes I’m referring to Labour’s strategic team, i.e. the people in charge of this silly social media approach. Sometimes I’m referring to Labour’s audience. It’s all a matter of context. If you’d rather read “in group/out group language” into a basic use of the third person plural, I’m afraid that’s something I cannot help you with.

  4. They have apparently granted Bomber live blogging rights for the conference.
    Who gets the job of telling him to calm down?
    It all smacks a little of amateur hour meets ministry of culture.

    • karol 4.1

      Where did you hear bomber was given “live blogging rights”?  He has just posted that he will be live blogging from the conference.  Can’t anyone attending do that?

      • Te Reo Putake 4.1.1

        Well, if I can stay awake during the duller sessions, I’ll do my best to keep Standardistas informed.

    • One Tāne Huna 4.2

      “Live blogging rights” – oh dear. Authoritarian mindset much?

      Hint: that naughty Bomber may feel he doesn’t need permission! Does not compute?

  5. QoT 5

    Live blogging is a “right” now? What, are they going to confiscate everyone else’s smartphones at the door? But then who will pay for the WiFi? It’s all so confusing.

    • lprent 5.1

      ut then who will pay for the WiFi?

      I was thinking that. After all the first thing I do when I walk into a place that charges for bandwidth is that I turn the wifi hotspot on the HTC one V if I want to use the pad, or jack it on usb for the laptop. Now this is one of the cheapest smartphones you can get, and I already pay for the bandwidth on it that I never use.

      Why would I buy more? Only reason would be if it was dead zone and they are few and far between .

    • King Kong 5.2

      No free WiFi? My god, how much is Shane Jones going to jizz down the drain

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    Eff off Barnsley, Labour regulars have to get a gripon on this one. Win lose or draw.

  7. Hey, calm down buddy.
    If you think Labour are pants at social media have a look at the complete lack of engagement by National. The only ones who could arguably be called successful are the Greens and that is in my opinion because nobody ever goes after them. They are still not taken seriously by anybody who picks holes in political parties.
    And they pick subjects that while being impossible to attain are hard to attack. Linking dolphins and penguins with scary hard left socialism is the most genius marketing ploy of this century.

    • QoT 7.1

      You know, as someone who actually wants the left to succeed, I’m surprisingly unfussed by National sucking at social media engagement.

      On the other hand, I’m quite annoyed by half-assed attempts by Labour to look cool and forward-thinking in this space, but fucking it up.

      Maybe I should write a post to explain my irritation. But just thinking about it gives me the weirdest sense of deja vu …

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        Social media and clicktivism are not game changers for Labour. The people who Labour needs to engage with and actually get out to vote don’t tweet and FaceBook in their spare time, even if they have internet.

        • millsy

          Nothing beats getting out in public and beating the streets, and knocking on doors, going to public halls (or the ones that havent been sold off and closed down), or even handing out flyers.

        • weka

          Do you have some research to back that up CV? I can’t quite believe what you say – there must be some Labour voters on FB etc or do you think all the web literate Labour voters are now voting Green?

          • Colonial Viper

            Do you have some research to back that up CV?

            Nope, I just know it. Maybe we could go away and do a 2 year study on it though? It couldn’t be published in time to help in the 2014 election, but maybe in the 2017?


            there must be some Labour voters on FB etc or do you think all the web literate Labour voters are now voting Green?

            Please examine turnout for 2011.

            They. Are. Not. Voting.

            • kiwicommie

              Most families are rarely on Facebook (save to talk to friends), and teenage girls and boys can’t vote. 😉

            • weka

              You seem to think that ALL of the people that didn’t vote are the same and that they don’t use social media. In the circles I move in, many of the people that don’t vote use social media. Hence my question.
              “Please examine turnout for 2011.”
              Is there a demographic breakdown of that?

            • dancerwaitakere

              Oh so all of the 16-21 year olds who do not have any political engagement at the moment are not important to Labour?


              Seriously. This is just GIFTING the youth vote to the Greens. a coherent social media strategy is part of Labour appearing to be not just some far away land of politicians, but a relatable political movement.

    • fatty 7.2

      “Linking dolphins and penguins with scary hard left socialism is the most genius marketing ploy of this century.”

      The most genius marketing ploy of this century has been the ongoing framing of leftish parties as socialist – despite their capitalist policies which are obvious to anyone with a brain.

      • thatguynz 7.2.1

        I disagree.  The most genius marketing ploy of the century is letting private institutions create money and then charging interest on this “book entry money” – all the while fuelling various consumerism “bubbles” to keep the cycle perpetuating..  🙂

  8. Shane Gallagher 8

    Wow – National have snuck someone into the media team and is doing a great job with the photos…

  9. I stopped reading the Labour blogs after I found some questionable comments on them by a senior Labour politician. Not worth my time reading them really.

    • weka 10.1

      Nice one. Shearer was one thing, but to have such a sustained ignorance within the MPs, and presumably the advisors, is mind boggling.

  10. Craig Glen Eden 11

    I totally agree bomber Shearer Little and Cosgrove couldn’t have been so bloody dumb. You influence through social media it might not win you the vote today but the seed/thought may give you the momentum and a vote in the future, social media is all about framing, this Labour caucus has no bloody idea none. Sadly we have way more problems than just Shearer in Labour.

    To Andrew Little bloggers vote you bloody dumb arse and they belong to Labour so they do get to vote yes even at conference. No wonder you didnt win New Plymouth !Little gets SMUCK of the day!

    • karol 11.1

      And I had been thinking little was at least a contender for a top ministerial role.  He has given some good speeches in the House. But now he just looks like another MP more beltway-bubble than representative of an inclusive society: one that supports those struggling on the margins. 

      • felix 11.1.1

        He was a lot more impressive before he started spending time in parliament. Looks to me like he’s been instructed on how to present himself and it’s just not a natural fit.

  11. Matthew Hooton 12

    They have also banned the Truth from covering their conference because they don’t like the editor. Say what you like about that particular paper and its new editor, but Josie Pagani, Chris Trotter and Willie Jackson all write for it and you would think it should be able to attend the conference.

    • felix 12.1

      Why? What’s possibly in it for Labour?

      Should National give “Socialist Worker” press passes for their conferences too?

      • Matthew Hooton 12.1.1

        As it happens, National always allowed Chris Trotter to register when he was running The Political Review. But I also don’t think “Socialist Worker” is the right comparison. Truth has been around since 1887 and is, for better or worse, an established newspaper. It has a range of writers, including those I mentioned above, and reaches a working class audience. To ban it from having one of its staff sitting alongside the press pack is not a good look.

        • felix

          Whatever Matthew.

          Slater has spent his entire “career” building a reputation as the least trustworthy person in the nz blogosphere, the biggest liar, the most unhinged, proud of illegally publishing the identities of the victims of sex crimes, happily spreading hatred and bigotry wherever he goes.

          Even the mongs at Kiwiblog found his first edition of “Truth” distasteful and stupid.

          He has spent years deliberately fashioning himself as a “wild card”. Bit late to start complaining that no-one wants him in the deck.

        • thatguynz

          Come on Matthew – it’s a stretch and a half to call The Truth a “newspaper”.  Just by virtue of the fact it is written on newsprint does not automatically make it a newspaper.  Tabloid? – perhaps..  Advertorial? – perhaps..  Several other less salubrious options? – perhaps..  but a newspaper? – no.

        • Colonial Viper

          Hooten, take a shower, you gotta small from all that cuddling up to Slater.

    • lprent 12.2

      They didn’t ban “the Truth” they banned Cameron Slater. Chris Trotter is going isn’t he? You really should leave some logic in your spin sometimes.

      I suspect that if the Truth put up someone else who hadn’t already gotten themselves banned from a National party conference (as a minor one of his wall of ears or whatever he calls it) then they’d get in.

      But journo’s at Labour party conferences are meant to sit and observe or have quiet conversations with people. Who could trust Cameron to do just those things? For that matter he’d probably spend much of the time writing stories about who was sitting with whom and weaving another conspiracy from it because he simply doesn’t understand very much.

      Basically if he acts like a barbarian for years, then why would people expect that just getting a job would make him any different?

      • One Tāne Huna 12.2.1

        “They didn’t ban “the Truth” they banned Cameron Slater”

        Thanks for that LP: I knew I couldn’t take Hooten’s word for it.

      • Matthew Hooton 12.2.2

        That’s even worse. That’s the Labour Party deciding which reporters newspapers can send along. Like when Muldoon banned Tom Scott from his press conferences. Newspapers get to send who they like. That’s how free and open societies work.

        • One Tāne Huna

          Blow harder, Hooten.

        • weka

          Cameron Slater as the new Tom Scott…. ha, ha, ha, good one Matthew.

        • Colonial Viper

          Matthew, Muldoon did do some things right.

        • lprent

          As far as I’m aware the media organisations don’t apply as a organisation, they apply for individuals to attend. It is exactly the same as every delegate to a NZLP conference.

          The paperwork may be done by your LEC (mine always was) or organisation (mine is), but your invitation is for you and you pick up a pack marked and tailored for you. This includes such details as times of interviews, voting rights, etc etc.

          Party conferences are a pain to organize (I’ve had to listen to many Labour HQ people moaning about it over the years) and one of the reasons is because it is completely done on a individual basis.

          In fact I can’t think of ANY conference that I have ever attended where it wasn’t done on an individual basis. Perhaps you are thinking of some dystopian novel you read where faceless corporations rule the word and their minions are interchangeable. But I suspect you wouldn’t fit in well.

          Oh – next spin please…

          • felix

            O noes! Matth-yawn Hooton making up lies and repeating them over and over? In the hope that they become the accepted truth?

            Shock I am.

          • One Tāne Huna

            Hooten fails the reality check? Again?

            We need better weasels.

  12. ak 13

    Which Slater we talkin bout – the one that pasted our first female and one of our all-time greatest Prime Minister’s face onto pornography and broadcast it to the whole world? That one?
    Oh sure, Labour should really welcome him all right.
    What a right hooter you are cob.

    • King Kong 13.1

      He never did that to Jenny Shipley. And as an aside, calling her one of the best might be stretching things a little.

    • Barnsley Bill 13.2

      AK. That is untrue. It was not him that did the Clark/pron photoshop. Bordering on defamation there champ

      • QoT 13.2.1

        Here’s my citation for it. Show me yours.

        • Barnsley Bill

          That story is wrong. It was another right wing blogger. The same one who shopped James sleep

          • QoT

            Yeah, still going with [citation needed], buddy.

            • Barnsley Bill

              Have a trawl through Clint Heines blog. Some of us have been at this for a while QoT. We made posters to burn in our weekly bunker get togethers. Cam has pushed the limits many times but he did not shop Clark in that way

            • Barnsley Bill

              QoT. Irrespective of what that inaccurate msm story wrote I am telling you that it was not Cam. It was in fact Clint Heine, it is still on his blog. I remember it well because many of uswho have been at this for a while copied it and both the Clark pic and James Sleep pic ran extensively through most of the right leaning blogs.
              Cam allows the myth to survive because he does not pay any attention to it.
              There are many reasons for you to fear him and or attack him but sadly for this particular myth it is completely untrue.

              • QoT

                Nah, sorry, Bill. I fail to see why the fuck I should grace Clint Heine’s POS blog with my pageviews in order to back up your argument.

        • Barnsley Bill

          That story is wrong. It was another right wing blogger. The same one who shopped J Sleep

      • millsy 13.2.2

        So who was it William?

        And you gotta admit. Slater is a pretty nasty creep…

    • Barnsley Bill 13.3

      AK. That is untrue. It was not him that did the Clark photoshop. Bordering on defamation there champ

  13. bomber 14

    Allowing Slater into the labour party conference would be like allowing Hannibal Lecture run a creche. Slater is NOT a journalist, he is a hate monger. Using ‘he hires Jose Pagani’ as a justification to suggest ‘balance’ is about as dishonest as it gets, Josie is the ‘left’ opinion when the msm want to pretend to look balanced.

  14. Matthew Hooton 15

    You are really all missing the point. These are the sorts of things Muldoon might have said about Tom Scott. Its not that Labour should “welcome” Slater to the conference. The issue is, if the Truth is registered, it gets to decide who it sends.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      And the conference organisers gets to bar that person if it wishes.

    • felix 15.2

      Whatever. The only people who think Slater is anything more than an insect are you and the National party.

      Invite him to your own conference and mind your own fucking business.

      • Colonial Viper 15.2.1

        maybe Slater will bring some topless Page 3 girls with him?

        • King Kong

          They would just be overshadowed by the totty in the Labour caucus. Dyson, Street and Moroney is all the eye candy the Labour delegates need.

    • KhandallaMan 15.3

      Both Hooton and Slater are lobbyists/propagandists.
      Slater does not pretend to be otherwise.
      Hooton wants to “run with the hare and hunt with the hounds”. He is presented as an independant commentator on radio and a national party insider when doing lobbying. He plays a bit role in Hollow Men. 
      Slater has more transparency than Hooton. 

      Labour needs to become a more open party. Let the whores in. It will be a giggle!  

      • kiwicommie 15.3.1

        Both of them don’t care about politics at the end of the day (take Ann Coulter, Karl Rove or Glenn Beck), they like to take it out on politicians; usually they have bias towards attacking the left but it is just male chauvinism/angry white men in a new form.

    • QoT 15.4

      The issue is, if the Truth is registered, it gets to decide who it sends.

      Nah, see, from what far more trustworthy people are saying above, the Truth gets to decide which people it puts forwards applications for media credentials for. And then Labour gets to decide who it approves media credentials for. And then no one actually buys into the idea that banning Slater – see aforementioned porn ‘shopping incident – is any kind of attack on the freedom of the press.

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