So after months of planning and prep, the new conservatives.com has gone live – and miraculously for an IT project, it’s on time, delivered ready for Party Conference. Still a few kinks to iron out – postcode search and some login problems, but I hope these will be smoothed out shortly and that they don’t detract from the overall experience.
When we first thought about launching a Party-wide group blog, we recognised some of the potential pitfalls: Would it just become a series of dressed-down press releases? Would it lack an identity if there are too many disparate contributors? They’re all valid points, but we feel that it’s something genuinely worth doing.
The Blue Blog – which was named through an online competition with our newsletters subscribers (sign up here if you’re not on it) – will have several posts everyday from a mixture of Shadow Cabinet, MPs, Councillors and Members, as well as the occasional guest. Like any blog, success is earned by the quality, uniqueness and regularity of content and we are going to try hard to provide that. As for comments, we want there to be an open and lively debate and if you go to our Facebook page, you’ll see that we’re happy to have lots of different views on display.
Party conferences are an intense time and we’ve got some great contributors lined up over the coming days: Shazia Awan is a Conference rookie; Michael Rock is the Chairman of Conservative Future, the arm of the Party for people under-30 (so alas, I’m just out); our social action goddess Jo Hillier; and all-round blogging guru Iain Dale will be dispensing some words of wisdom. So keep checking back and let us know what you think.