Over 6 weeks & 53 postings the Brent East Campaign has been blogged. My keyboard is wornout and revision for my exams in backlog. This has been a prolonged high - which explains my recent apearance. I thought I’d review my efforts and share my experiences of the last six of weeks.

Brent East Campaigning: The campaign

In the tense 10 minutes that the candidates stood with the returning officer and inspected the doubtful ballot papers I was sharing my impressions of the campaign with Paul Keilthy from Archant Media Group. I was impressed with the technical quality of the campaign run by Lib Dems and Labour; each party had created and distributed localised materials, and each had been able to rapidly turn around ‘news’ of events (e.g. names visiting) into publicity materials. Paul thanked me for publicising the campaign materials (the original stated goal of Brent East Campaigning blog) as the parties don’t distribute their campaign materials directly to the press. That’s twice I’ve been taked for doing somebodys job for them this last week.

The Lib Dems appear to have had greater resources at their disposal that Labour. Team:Yasmin may have been able to pull in the ‘names’ of old Labour but Team:Sarah was superior in people power. The Lib Dems were able to distribute a far greater quantity of campaign materials due to the number of voulenteers at their disposal. I’ve yet to discover if the LDYS were mobilised to support the Brent East Campaign in the same way that the Young Fabians were.

From a technology perspective, Team:Sarah already had an established web presense which provided a source of information on her candidacy. Team:Yasmin were severly lacking in this area. Not having a website must have been detrimental to her campaign. Anyone using a search engine to uncover information about Yasmin would have been presented with a series of news articles - some more favorable than others - as well as a link to this site, whereas the search results for the Blue Team and the Orange Team yeilded links to official information sites.

I have been monitoring the ‘refering links’ statistics (see Note 1) for my website. The blog has been viewed by people refered to it after using the names of candidates in search engines (see Note 2). Another popular search term is Brent East. Searching for Brent East in Google gives the results of my blog, the websites of the Lib Dems and the Conservatives but not Labour. Even Rainbow George manages to make the first page of links (see Note 3).

Brent East Campaigning: Misrepresentation

My Brent East Campaigning blog did not cover the whole constituency. A more accurate title would have been ‘Mapesbury, Queen’s Park and Kilburn Campaigning’ as these are the areas I have gathered most of my information from. Perhaps I should have done a little ward walking. In hindsight that would have been valuable as my favorite ‘finds’ of materials have been picked off the street. Additionally, the two main contenders in the recent campaign, Labour and the Liberal Democrats, produced campaign materials that targeting specific communities in the constituency. I would have liked to have been able to post materials from other areas in Brent East. The opportunity to compare and contrast materials from other areas of the constituency would have been interesting: were the candidates/parties emphasing different aspects of their manifesto in different area?

Brent East Campaigning: Participation

My active contribution to this blog over the last 6 weeks totalled 53 postings. I don’t even know how many hours total was spent meeting candidates, scanning campaign materials and researching details. This blog has been viewed by 816 unique visitors (measured by IP address) and I’ve recevied 5 emails from readers contributing information and one comment on a posting. I would have liked to have seen greater contributions from Brent East residents, but I feel that given that the blog was only running for 8 weeks total without link propagation (other than Richard Kimbers Election resources page) the level of readership and contribution was high.

Brent East Campaigning: Pretty Pictures

Here are some images grabbed from StatCounter.com

This graphic shows the daily ‘hits’ to the blog since my first post up to the day of the election.

This graphic shows period from 9th April to 9th May.

This graphic shows the period 3rd May to 9th of May in detail…

Note 1: A refering link is the link that directed a viewer to a website. This information was collected by StatCounter.com as part of their basic counter service.

Note 2: Google has been the search engine responsible for around 95% of my refering links.

Note 3: I would link to it but that ‘breaks’ my listing in Google, so just visit google.com and search for Brent East…