Would John Key take up the World View challenge?

With it being election year in New Zealand this year, I’ve been pondering what shape the online campaigning is likely to take in the months ahead.

Last time round, all the parties began to make use of the online space to connect with voters and this year they have a whole new suite of technologies that could – and should – be pressed into service. I for one will be monitoring their use – effective or otherwise – of mobile communication but in the meantime, I’ve been watching out to see if there are sufficient requests for John Key to take part in the new  YouTube/Aljazeera partnership, World View, currently attempting to bring world leaders to account through citizen interviews via the web. US President Obama has already fronted up, UK Prime Minister David Cameron will walk into the web spotlight in the next couple of days (all questions to be posted by Tuesday, either as video upload, tweet or text) and the platform also invites users to nominate who they would like to see interviewed next.

The thinking behind the platform is provided in YouTube’s blog and although it is early days, such citizen powered interviews may substantially increase voter engagement over time. Whether our own leaders generate enough global interest for this webslot remains to be seen but the platform certainly flattens out communications processes a little more.

The main reason for sharing this in the PR and communications space is that I suspect it is only a matter of time before other types of leaders – from commerce and industry as well as the political sphere – find themselves propelled into a citizen-enabled spotlight and called to account regarding their business processes, organisational thinking and user relationships. And, as the navigators in the space, we should be helping them be prepared for web interviews, tweetchats and the other citizen engagements they are likely to encounter in the very near future.

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