Despite PR Week reporting Mark Penn was to advise Brian Paddick, which I repeated, I am reliably informed this is inaccurate; actually American web strategist Jerome Armstrong of the WebStrong Group are his team. And they are innovating. Using Ustream.TV, the live video webcasting site, Paddick will tonight (7.30-8.30 pm) answer questions in a live hustings. Campaign Manager Andrew Reeves said: “The live webchat will allow Brian to hold a virtual hustings with Londoners from the comfort of their own home. Using the Internet as a new way of engaging with Londoners will help Brian reach out to larger audiences and have a one-to-one dialogue with voters who would not otherwise attend political events. “Our Ustream.TV video webchat is a pioneering first in British politics and the next step in our ambitious web campaigning programme to promote Brian’s message of change and serious solutions for London.” Used widely in America, and part of a trend that utilises web technology to allow citizens to interact directly with candidates, it seems this is becoming more common. Key questions for me are: how many people will participate; will access be unregulated and if so can opponents hijack the questioning; will different people participate and engage, not just the already engaged and active? Sadly I will be on a train and unable to watch but I await the postmortem with interest. I do think that the Mayoral election is a testing ground for the next UK General Election, which wil also draw on the lessons from the US this year, if it works Ustream may get busy!