The Liberal Democrats have launched a new social network today called Lib Dem ACT. Its lovely jade and yellow colour scheme looks very fetching. You don't have to be a party member to join, so why not come along and see what it's like.
For some the attraction will be undoubtedly that, at the time of writing at least, it has no farms, cafes, fish tanks, mafia wars or vampires in sight. There are some people I expect now to immediately depart Facebook and set up on ACT for that reason alone.
In the words of the nice e-mail I got from the Party's Chief Executive Chris Fox:
"Act is a place where Lib Dem supporters can connect with one another, organise events and campaigns, share photos and videos, and talk about politics."
To be honest, although like a sheep I've gone and signed up, I'm not sure what it does that Facebook doesn't and it is a bit high maintenance in that I have to find all my friends and add them individually when I already have them all to hand on Facebook and Twitter. Having said that, this time last year I didn't really see the point of Twitter and now it's safe to say that it's an integral part of my life. Thing is, on Facebook, we interact with all our other friends as well which exposes Lib Dem ideas and campaigns to all sorts of people in an unobtrusive and often successful kind of way.
It's also good to see that it has its priorities right - already there is a Group for Lib Dem Real ale drinkers thanks to Jennie.
Anyway, it's worth a try and the layout's fantastic. I'm also ecstatic that I managed to find the bit where you can determine what e-mails it sends you. It's in the settings menu in the top right. Unfortunately I had received 97 million e-mails telling me all sorts of stuff I didn't want to know, so if this posting helps just one person to avoid that, I'll be happy.
The other thing that distinctly unamused me was getting an e-mail after I'd cross posted my earier blog posting about Jo being dropped from Question Time telling me that "your blog posting has been approved." Do they think I'm some kind of trouble maker? And if there is really someone moderating everything that goes up, is that really the best use of staff time?
I am quite impressed that I'm becoming a real technological pioneer today. I must at least be an entry level geek by now! I tried Google Wave earlier. That really is something I can't see any usefulness for at all.
Despite a few reservations, I think ACT will be good for Lib Dems to hang out on if they don't want the added extras that go with other social networking sites. I'd really be interested to hear what others think.