Week 5 & 6: Election 2013

In the last two weeks of this subject we’ve focused on how to monetize innovative use of social media and live blogging platforms. I definitely agree both Simon Holt in that any digital-first news model ‘based off facebook won’t work’ but Spencer Howson is also right in saying ‘twitter is a long-term investment to over 20-somethings as they age’.

So how do we build upon what social media can offer?

I can’t give you a definitive answer, but here are a few of my favourite digital ‘big guns’ used for the 2013 election campaign.

1. The ABC’s vote compass

The idea is not new. There’s a similar facebook version that’s been around for a number of years. But what is innovative about it is that it plots you against the more established parties. You’re also able to drill down into the results issue-by-issue.

Here are my results below (which were very unsurprising) –


As of last night, over a million Australians have taken the challenge. But being the political hack that I am, I would love to see a version that takes into account the historical policy positions or be able to track and compare your results each election.

2. News Limited’s ‘Voice of Australia’ Campaign

Again, the idea is not new. Special election mini-websites are just extensions of the old newspaper versions and The Australian’s version is as pretty as ever –

the oz 2

They even included some nifty details as median income, unemployment rate and median age for each electorate. It provides a nice, quick reference guide for anyone to prove someone wrong in a pub with their iphone. And its about a million times easier than searching the ABS website.

the oz

But News Limited have gone one better on their syndicated state-based news sites, they’re running their own marginal seat campaign –


Again, it’s a pretty cool concept that is very aesthetically pleasing. But they really didn’t do enough with it. Most of the time it was merely a quick reference guide of key marginal seats planted at the bottom of a story. Only sporadically did they include voter voxpops and opinions.


Though I do really love the idea of going back to re-gage a voter’s perspective at different points of the campaign. Ideally, i’d like to see an outlet do a ‘campaign diary’ in this format and have it updated once or twice a week.

Well there’s only a week to go and i’m pretty excited to see election night coverage! (particularly from the ABC)


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