The impact of technology on the general election has also been discussed at a number of recent events.
The British Computer Society (BCS) held a panel debate at the beginning of this month entitled 'Will the internet determine the outcome of the next election?'. BCS president Elizabeth Sparrow suggested further reasons why politicians have shown insufficient urgency in getting to grips with social media technology.
"The problem is that the under 24s tend to be the main chunk of society that has not registered to vote, so even if the parties were tapped into new media it would do little to help their campaign," she said.
Sparrow believes that sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube will have little direct impact on the election because the political parties have yet to tap into the new technology platforms.
"Social media is not sophisticated enough," she said. "What is likely to have an impact is devices like cameraphones that can catch an unguarded look on a politician's face and spread it across the web."
Meanwhile, Dave Briggs, marketing executive at Learning Pool, said at the Social Media World Forum in London that the UK political parties are not rushing to test out new forms of social media because of the risks.
"The opportunities presented by the internet are one of scale because it allows the government to exhibit behaviour on a mass scale. But so much of it is so new that I think there will have to be pain before things settle," he said.
"There will be some online conversations that don't work with the public, but this does not mean that politicians should not innovate and try to do new stuff. "
Other panel discussions held recently at the Frontline Club and the Search Engine Strategies conference looked at other aspects relating to the lack of attention given by political parties to technology prior to the general election.
Both debates compared social media strategies launched by each political party and concluded that no party can be recognised as being ahead of another. This is significantly short sighted considering the possibility of a hung parliament, and the considerable success that social media brought Obama.
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