In the US the Democrats have been giving press accreditation to independent bloggers since 2004. Despite this report saying that UK parties “would consider it” I don’t think any of them actually have. I made the suggestion earlier this year that Labour should accredit a small number of UK bloggers for this year’s conference.
They haven’t done that but they have announced this competition to offer an “up and coming blogger access to this year’s Party Conference”. If all that is on offer is “access to all the key speeches and events at Conference and you’ll be blogging from the floor about your experiences” then it is pretty underwhelming.
For an “up and coming blogger” it does provide an opportunity for their blog to quickly rise to prominence, but that will inevitably lead to problems with moderating comments. How easily is an “up and coming blogger” going to be able to deal with issues like that?
The only other benefit I can see is that you save the £54 visitor fee and you get a floor pass instead of a visitor pass. There isn’t really much advantage in being on the main conference floor instead of the visitor gallery as only delegates are allowed to speak or vote.
Still it’s a good idea even if the official announcement appears to be designed for people to take the p**s out of. Labour is beginning to get social media but I fear it still has a long way to go.
The most notable thing about all of the people listed is that they were official Labour Party blogs hosted on its site. Surely the notable bloggers are the real ones who started them to connect with voters on a personal level as MPs, MEPs, councillors, candidates and ordinary members.