Labour, if albeit quietly apart from when Derek Draper was learning to tell the difference between his RSS and his elbow and getting it wrong, seemed to have really stepped up their online strategy. There is now a 'Believe in Labour' Facebook group but also something that has the appearance of a party wiki. Labourspace seems to post policy ideas and for others to comment on them. Included on the site are videos, rather more professionally made than the average citizen is capable of, but appearing to show people making suggestions. Visitors can also sign up and create their own profile page which shows their posts, what campaigns their support and oppose etc. It also offers a range of ways for visitors and site members to share information and recruit others, so very Web 2.0. The conversation on England (below) shows a core argument, a range of contributions and contributors recruiting others.
Interestingly it appears to have been around for a while, posts go back to the beginning of this year, little could be found that is negative based on a scan of issues, it is very much about the big issues and not the nitty-gritty of policy or party politics but there are a range of small social issues discussed. It seems to be designed for members but is now being made more public via Facebook, surprising really that it was not made more of but perhaps that is the strategy. Have been reading a PhD recently, for the purposes of examination, that talks about relationship marketing and the internal market. What this site's function seems to be is a tool for bringing existing supporters closer to the party and government and perhaps then mobilise them as advocates and activists. The process could be that having signed up and contributed, if some effect is seen based on a contribution then this empowers the individual, gives them a feeling of efficacy, but also recognises who provides them this opportunity; they can tell others etc. Without signing up it is impossible to tell how many are signed up, how active the site is in reality or whether there is any links between activity and political action at the highest level (if anyone wants to share info that would be great) but it is an interesting tool that could be powerful if it has direct initial reach and can be disseminated to a critical mass through word of mouth.