MEN embraces social media

MEN general election hand revealed

The MEN website has embraced social media in the run-up to the general election.

An MEN general election landing page has been set up that offers instant access to a range of online content, reports How-Do. For instance, visitors are invited to access a news aggregator called CoveritLive from social networking specialists Demand Media. This draws together tweets from in-house journalists, external news providers and local politicians.

MEN unveils interactive Flash map

Moreover, the MEN general election landing page features an interactive Flash map that displays all 35 constituencies in Greater Manchester. Readers can drill down into the data by clicking on individual constituencies. This brings up facts about how votes were cast in 2005, alongside journalist-penned profiles of the constituencies and leading candidates. External links to official profiles on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are also included.

Finally, a swingometer is provided to show which marginals may change hands once the votes are counted. The 16-second video is hosted by video-sharing site YouTube.

Paul Gallagher, head of online content at the MEN, said: "All of this has been achieved with staff from all MEN Media titles working closely with our in-house designers and developers. We are planning more innovations for election night itself, including the use of video streaming to provide live broadcasts of results as they are announced."

In related news, Manchester will make history tonight when Granada Studios hosts the first ever leaders debate on live TV. Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg will be given 90 minutes to present their policies on domestic affairs to the UK electorate. The event is expected to be keenly dissected on Twitter via hashtags such as #leadersdebate and #ge2010.