As part of the CENMEP project I have been reviewing how UK political parties used the Internet at the 2009 European parliamentary election. Looking back at Wainer Lusoli's work from 2004 it is hard to see any significant differences in strategy. Websites are now better constructed using the most up to date technologies, but only if you have the resources. In the case of the the majority of the 25 parties standing it was an online brochure offering little that was engaging when compared to the norms of Internet use across the corporate and not-for-profit sector. The big difference is the migration into social networking sites. Most parties now feature on Facebook, many use Twitter, YouTube is an easy way to promote videos be they sophisticated or home made, Flickr hosts photos of the leader or perhaps candidates. These do offer a new level of engagement, as on the whole you can comment on many of the material posted but I wonder if that is really the intention. Few parties seem to do much that encourages interaction. It seems to be, as the post title suggests, a way of extending the party's digital footprint; being found easily and so getting the message out as opposed to communicating with potential voters. So is the use of social networking little more than a way of advertising for free for political organisations? Beyond a small minority that seems to be the case. But the question is can we expect more, can the interactive features of SNS be adapted for political purposes within the context of a persuasive campaign? The suggestion is that we will see more of this at the UK 2010 election but whether there will be a substance to this online migration is a big question - all thoughts and predictions welcome.