Feeds

Tory 'Cash Gordon' campaign suffers Web2.0rhea bum rush

Lesson in how not to 'trend' on Twitter

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Updated The Tories, in their enthusiasm for all things Web2.0rhea, launched an ill-conceived Facebook Connect campaign over the weekend that they hoped would encourage people to gripe about Labour's ties to the Unite union.

As is the norm in these, er, web-enlightened days, the Conservative Party hoped to turn "#cashgordon" into a "trending" topic on Twitter.

Well their wish appears to have come true, but perhaps not in the way the Tories had planned it because many people were injecting some JavaScript code into their tweets, which meant the site was for a time being redirected to the Labour Party, porn sites and even Rick Astley singing on YouTube.

The Tories recently launched their own tech manifesto, in which the David Cameron-led party proclaimed it would embrace the interwebs, do some stuff with open source software and even get heavily involved in crowd sourcing just to show how down-wid-da-kids they really are.

But at time of writing the cash-gordon.com site is out of action and redirecting to the Tories' main homepage, all because in their rush to attack the opposition online, the Conservative Party forgot one fundamental rule of good Web2.0rhea PR: don't get hacked, stoopid!

Earlier today, the Tories gloated about their Cash Gordon campaign, even though at that point it only had about 600 supporters.

The party couldn't resist posting a self-congratulatory missive on its website this morning in which the "Conservative blogger, turned speechwriter, turned online campaigning guy" Samuel Coates bigged up the campaign:

"Having a Facebook page and updating it regularly is the bread and butter of what political groups and representatives can do, but there’s also room to think outside of the box.

"There’s also the Facebook Connect feature, for example, that enables users to log in to third party websites using their Facebook account. There have been some fun and practical uses of it so far, though few in the political realm," he said.

Coates went on to claim that the Cash Gordon campaign was "one of the most innovative uses of the [Facebook Connect] tool yet seen in the UK."

In the same post he urged people to "spread the word" to raise awareness online about Charlie Whelan's influence over Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the Labour Party.

"Unlike face-to-face traditional campaigning, a lot of online advocacy is hard to measure and often goes unrecognised - action points provide a way of both measuring and incentivising those efforts," he noted.

"In the brave new world of online politics it’s importantly [sic] to keep innovating this way. If you have any ideas on how else we could be using the internet, please let us know in the comment thread."

Well, the interwebs has spoken, Coates. But perhaps not in the way the Tories had anticipated.

The Register asked the Conservative Party to comment on this story, but at time of writing no one had gotten back to us with a response. Tory flacks have been uncharacteristically quiet on Twitter too. Funny that. ®

Update

The Tories gave us this statement, however the Cash Gordon site is still redirecting to the party's "Blue Blog".

“There was an attempt made to redirect #CashGordon users to other websites. We’ve made the necessary adjustments to the site and the #CashGordon campaign has now led to many thousands [sic] people hearing about Unite’s funding stranglehold over the Labour Party,” said a Conservative spokesman.

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.