Those living in a Twitter bubble might do well to read the FT on the real technologies shaping the general election

“These three forces [ data-mining of databases for demographics, search-engine swiffling, email lists + using Skype to follow leads ] are now reshaping Britain’s party political machines for the internet era. For decades, our politics has been organised around broadcast media; a world where cosy chats between politicians and journalists got policies on to the evening news. While this world has not gone away, a new web-driven model is now pulling alongside it. But all three forces are also largely invisible. As a result, discussion focuses on visible technologies, such as Twitter. Even worse, the media will soon go into overdrive speculating about Britain’s first television debates between the three party leaders. Yet, just as in the US, these highly scripted discussions are unlikely to move the polls.”

I’d add that one of the most important technologies is still the simplest and the one most proven to work, personalised direct mail — a simple leaflet in the letterbox, five days before the election date, showing a clear and simple map/route to the polling station from the delivered address. Including a “best walking route”, which would prove to anyone walking it if the candidate really knows the area or not. Consulting a map is often needed since these days a polling station may be a mile or more away in an unfamiliar part of town, and in a general election it may well be at a different location than that used for a local council election. Eight weeks before an election, it seems to me that many have already made up their minds about how to vote — it’s just a matter of getting them to the ballot-box.