Let me begin this week’s digital makeover by acknowledging three very important details.

  1. I received a number of emails, comments and in-person props from people of all political backgrounds thanking me for dusting off my digital makeover series and encouraging me to keep it active. Thank you very much to everyone who gave me feedback. I appreciate it.
  2. This digital makeover comes by request from one of the aforementioned ‘feedbackers’. Thanks for the request. I’m open to suggestions if you have any.
  3. My French is terrible. This put me at a bit of a disadvantage doing this analysis (of a Québec MP). I had to rely on my limited grasp on one of our two official languages, and leaned on Google Translate to fill in the holes. Let the mocking begin.

And with that, I give you the digital makeover for rookie NDP MP Lauren Liu. Note that in the spirit of bullet three, above, I’m linking to the English instance where the option of French and English are present.

Digital Ecosystem

LaurinLiu-websiteLaurin Liu has a websiteTwitter account, Facebook Fan Page and YouTube channel, all of which are linked-to from the main header menu on her website. She also has a Flickr account which is essentially hidden on her page — save the nine-most recent photos which appear as clickable thumbnails in the right sidebar of her page. The account is not readily linked on her site. Ms. Liu has a second Flickr account, as well.

Her digital ecosystem is loosely connected to itself. Ms. Liu’s Facebook Fan Page links to her Twitter account, which links to her website. Both have relevant descriptive information and her official photograph. Her YouTube channel lacks any descriptive information, though it is connected to her online footprint through her official photograph and a link to her official website using the NDP syntax (laurinliu.ndp.ca) rather than her vanity domain (laurinliu.ca). Ms. Liu’s YouTube channel links to a Google+ profile. Her Google+ page lacks a description (though has her official photograph) and links to her Facebook page. Her Flickr accounts are islands; not linked back to any other site in her ecosystem.

Three opportunities for improvement:

  • Add decriptive information to your YouTube channel.
  • Exploit YouTube’s ability to add links to multiple sites (Twitter, Facebook, etc…).
  • Have all of your properties link to one location… your website. Use your vanity-URL.



LaurinLiu-collageDuring my research I came to the conclusion Ms. Liu has spread herself too thin. This makes maintaining her entire digital ecosystem extremely difficult.

Among her challenges… One of her Flickr accounts has only four photographs and hasn’t been updated since July 15, 2011. Her “more current” Flickr account was last updated on October 22, 2012. Many photographs in the latter account are not titled, described or tagged. So, viewers have little context. On the other hand, her photos are organized in titled sets which make it easier for people who know the Flickr interface. Google+ has only one post, issued December 14, 2012.

Ms. Liu’s YouTube channel, like that of many other MPs, is filled almost exclusively with QP appearances and official statements — content which appeals largely to issue stakeholders. Constituents? Not so much. Her 73 videos average 81 views each.

Where she directs her attention, Ms. Liu is getting respectable results. Over the last six months, she’s issued 415 tweets earning 364 new Twitter followers. Her tweets are mostly about her political activities with the occassional tweet about hockey, football and one retweet of the parody @stats_canada account. Just shy of 80% of her tweets are regular (fresh) tweets, 15% are retweets and 6% replies. She also does fairly well with Facebook where she similarly promotes a lot of her political and caucus activities.

Ms. Liu’s regular website updates consist of transcripts of her QP appearances.

In grading her content, I considered the ecosystem as a whole, not just the three properties to which Ms. Liu is directing her efforts.

Three opportunities for improvement:

  • Close down your Google+ account.
  • Properly title, describe and tag your Flickr photos, and post new photos more frequently.
  • Soften up the political focus. Direct some energy at showcasing the subject of your portfolio… science and technology.


Participation & Community

Like many MPs, Ms. Liu hasn’t done much to harness her following to build a community. As noted above, she’s light on Twitter replies.

Her Facebook community occassionally “Likes” (and less-frequently posts comments to) her regular status updates. The engine is “whirring.” It just hasn’t turned over yet. To her credit, Ms. Liu does jump in with responses.


There is no comment activity on her YouTube videos. Though, that’s likely because the videos are the same types of thing we see on the six o’clock news. Few people are activated by that.

Three opportunities for improvement:

  • As deputy critic on science and technology, speak more geek and harness the online community (much of which is energized by things science and tech).
  • Share science and tech stuff like articles from relevant sites. Subscribe to RSS feeds (like Wired) and share interesting articles.
  • Post Facebook updates which promote the kind of Canadian innovation and current research activities that would benefit from public awareness/support.


Interruption (the bonus category)

I must admit I was disappointed when preparing this digital makeover. I had high hopes that a young MP might be injecting youthful energy into the mix. I expected distruptive content and a fresh approach to doing politics. Instead, I saw something very familiar; something very traditional.

I don’t want appear too critical. So, I’d like to acknowledge that, at age 22, Ms. Liu might still be learning the political ropes, which could make becoming comfortable in her role as an MP affect her digital activities. As such, I’m awarding a bonus to recognize what I expect is a huge learning curve in her young career.



Analysis performed using Marketwire/Sysomos Heartbeat and MAP.