Politicians urged to Bebo for votes

30 Mar 2007

Bebo-based social networking enterprise Bigulo has launched a website that allows voters to view all the candidates running for election in their area and view their Bebo page if they have one.

Election.bigulo.com uses Google Maps to enable visitors to view all the candidates around the country and access their Bebo pages where they exist.

Less than 1 in 20 election candidates hase a Bebo page, however, a survey by Bigulo.com has found.

Des Traynor, co-creator of Bigulo.com, said: “Most politicians happily talk about the importance of the young voters. We were interested to see if they are backing it up with actions. Surprisingly few election candidates have a presence on Bebo, even though it must be the cheapest easiest way to target young voters. This is a generation that doesn’t watch the news or read the flyers that are dropped in the letterbox; if politicians really care about the opinions of the young people in their area they’ll need to reach out to them.”

David Cochrane, editor of Politics.ie, commented: “There is a very low turnout from young people in elections so politicians should be seeking out new ways to reach young voters. Bebo is an ideal way of connecting with young voters since everyone is on it. Only a very small number of election candidates have websites and even fewer have Bebo pages. They need to get with the times and use the internet to reach out to the Bebo generation. It will bring huge rewards for resourceful election candidates… and it won’t cost them a penny.”

According to Bigulo.com, more than 70pc of 16-25 year old Irish people spend an average of 74 minutes per day on Bebo.

Andrew Page of Bigulo.com said: “Politicians shouldn’t ignore the Internet, they should embrace it. Old people vote for Bertie, because he’s a down to earth guy that you’d have a pint with. Young people want to have politicians that they can Bebo with.”

The site can be accessed at http://election.bigulo.com.

By Niall Byrne