Moderaterna, the Swedish Moderate Party which is part of the ruling right-wing coalition, predict that blogs and social media will become an integral part of the 2010 election campaign. In a speech this weekend in Sollentuna outside of Stockholm, Secretary-general Per Schlingmann said that the web will be the hub in the next campaign (my translation below).
The web will be the hub in the campaign. In ten days we will release our new digital platform which will create new opportunities. How well it turns out depends on us. How open do we dare to be? Dare we let go? For me one thing is clear: in the election 2010, every Moderate blog will be valuable, every Moderate video, every Moderate Facebook group. Let us make sure that there will be as many as possible. I am also convinced that we will carry out more activities where we will meet voters directly, but these activities will be co-ordinatet online and will make it easier for people to take part of our campaign.
The prediction that the next election will be web-centric is not very risky, but nevertheless it is interesting to see that the Moderate Party is stressing social media tools so actively almost two years ahead of the election.
During the last few months, blogs have made a huge impact on the political arena, first and foremost from the FRA debate, i.e. the resistance to the new controversial Swedish wiretapping law that enables FRA, Swedish National Defence Radio Establishement, to screen and store all digital traffic passing Swedish borders. Blogs about politics and society are also one of the most popular categories in the Swedish blogosphere. The blog portal Knuff.se lists the 50 most linked to blogs in Sweden and currently about 24 of the top 50 are commenting regularly on political topics.
A question I would like Swedish party strategists to answer is how they plan to engage with female voters via social media. If my latest blog survey BlogSweden 3 is anything to go by, female blog readers don’t see blogs as an interesting channel for news about politics and society. While this was the most popular topic among male blog readers (49.2% of all male blog readers), the situation was radically different among female blog readers.
Female blog readers prefer reading blogs about (Jan 2008):
– Fashion and design (53.0%)
– Everyday life experiences (51.6%)
– Photography and art (26.6%)
– Parenthood and children (24.3%)
– Music (22.0%)
– Literature and writing (17.2%)
– Movies and tv (16.9%)
– Journalism and media (16.7%)
– Sex and dating (16.5%)
– Politics and society (14.4%)