Nick live and online!

Well – it went relatively well – the Nick Clegg /Reuters cyber-experiment. I was in LibDem HQ – which Helen Duffett (in charge of technology on the day) had renamed the ‘grass roots green room’ from whence we submitted questions along with the rest of the country. Yes – there were glitches – there always are when you do this stuff. But I always think it is a bit like hand-held camera work – makes it real.

I remember being on 18 Doughty Street the night that Iain Dale launched his brave attempt at a proper political TV station. It would be too strong to say that nothing went right – but not far off! It still developed into a very professional show in the end. Anyway – I digress.

Hundreds of questions poured in through Twitter, 12 second TV and various other routes. The real lesson from the show was that for this media – although it might feel like a normal TV interview in that the presenters present the questions and Nick answered – it is a medium that demands soundbites rather than discursive response. Given someone had to pick the key points in Nick’s answers – best to reduce the choice of piece to reproduce by ensuring snappy relevant responses.

And example would be someone who twittered in a question as to whether Nick thought we should change our name back to Liberals – or something like that. He gave a good answer based on consideration of where we are now and why that wouldn’t be appropriate. Personally I think he should have just said ‘no’!. Short answers are good on something like this. And even on the more complex issues the shorter the better.

That would be main lesson from next time – and we (in the activists room) thought also that it might add to the show if you had a panel of MPs blogging answers to the dozens of questions that didn’t get answered so that more people felt they had played a part and more questions got answered – leaving Nick to do the selected ones!

But a good effort – and I am sure we will and should do loads more of this type of broadcast.

0 thoughts on “Nick live and online!

  1. Certainly getting answers to the rest of the questions from suitable people would be a good start, but why stop there? Make it a regular thing (monthly?) even without the show if that proves too awkward: invite questions in this form and have a panel writing answers to *all* of them, and post the lot on the web.Like writing to your MP, only covering all the stuff most people would never bother writing in about.(Don't just hit the easy questions – get answers to everything)