Wednesday 1 December 2010

Yoosk as a Hustings Tool

by Keith

Yoosk has recently been used as part of the Hustings for the election of new leaders to both the Labour Party and UKIP. Both Labour and UKIP held their own hustings events around the country of course, but these have their limitations:

  1. Not everybody can attend ‘live’ hustings events.
  2. Not every part of the country can be covered by ‘live’ hustings events.
  3. Not everyone who attends a ‘live’ hustings will be given the opportunity to ask a question.
  4. A filmed ‘live’ hustings event is not user friendly in that only dedicated users will sit through a 90 minute video clip of politicians talking.

Yoosk addresses these issues very simply by allowing anybody, anywhere in the country to put their question. Of course, not all questions will be answered, but the most popular ones will be answered and the answers will be there for everybody to view. And because at Yoosk we cut up our interviews into individual video clips for each question, the clips are easliy navigated and users can choose to watch only the clips that interest them and know that they will not have to invest a huge amount of their time in order to do so.

Here are example clips from each of the Hustings we covered:

This type of engagement with voters must surely be the way forward for future election campaigns. Imagine, at the next general election, an online location where constituents could post questions to prospective parliamentary candidates and the candidates could log on to add their answers in either text or video format... Such a site would be an invaluable central tool for voters to visit to find out just where their candidates stood on local and national issues. And the benefits for candidates in being seen to actively engage voters and to be able to get their message across to them would surely outweigh any complaints such as ...’I don’t have time for this...’

In addition to Yoosk, there are other sites which share the same general concept such as Votewise and Hustings but none of us are quite there yet in either format or ability to cover a complete national election campaign.