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Apr 17, 2011 at 03:24pm IST

UDF's e-campaign elicits keen response in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram: The e-campaign launched by Congress-led UDF for last week's Kerala polls has received huge response, with over 18 lakh netizens visiting the websites and profiles of UDF, KPCC and its President Ramesh Chennithala since the announcement of election dates.

According to Ranjith Balan, architect of UDF's e-campaign, the website was visited by over nine lakh people since the announcement of the polls and facebook profiles of KPCC and its president Ramesh Chennithala were visited by another nine lakh people.

"The response to our campaign also burst the notion that the young generation is largely apolitical," Balan, CEO of a Technopark-based company and IT adviser of KPCC, told PTI.

UDF's e-campaign elicits keen response in Kerala

Balan said that the youth are deeply interested in politics and are keen to debate issues thrown up by elections.

"The youth are deeply interested in politics and are keen to debate issues thrown up by elections. (But) they should be provided the proper platforms using the Internet and IT," Balan said.

The UDF website, available in Malayalam and English, is user-friendly and interactive, designed to engage the public and voters in dialogues with senior Congress leaders. The website also carried detailed information on all the candidates and the election manifesto. There was also a provision for users to send feedback about the UDF manifesto and thousands voiced their opinions everyday, Balan said.

"We also created a special page for Non-Resident Keralaites (NRKs) called 'NRK Zone' to provide information and also help them send their comments and observations," he said.

Balan said his team also ensured the website was updated with the latest campaign news and had various sections like hot debates, UDF highlights, cartoons, blogs and poll-related articles. Contributions were also invited to the website by means of cartoons and articles.

An online poll was organised on the website daily and visitors were encouraged to participate in online debates on a variety of political themes. An online election quiz was conducted which was a highly successful event with participants from all over the world, Balan said.

"Thousands of emails used to flood the inbox with comments from across the globe. As the D-day approached, the intensity and tempo also increased. A notable fact was that even people from the villages sent their comments, adding impetus to the campaign," Balan said.

UDF leaders were also made to be part of major social networks such as Orkut, Facebook and Twitter and a dedicated channel on the video-sharing website Youtube was created. By the end of the e-campaign, the Facebook fan page of UDF had about 9.3 lakh visitors and the UDF website had 3.3 lakh hits, Balan said. People took up the opportunity to voice opinions, feedback and sharp critical comments, he said.

Chennithala's website was linked to Facebook, Youtube and Twitter. The website was also updated with live pictures and reports of his campaigns. His Facebook account and website have so far recorded around 7 lakh visitors, Balan said.

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