London Speaks to Boris Johnson: the Most Interactive Mayoral Debate

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The UK's number one video messaging website, WinkBall, is working with the Greater London Authority (GLA) to give Londoners a chance to have their say to their Mayor, Boris Johnson.

WinkBall Reporters have talked to hundreds of Londoners all over the capital, asking them about how they think the Mayor's office has performed in the last year on issues such as the environment, the economy, transport and policing, as well as more generally about how they feel about Boris Johnson. The responses have been fantastically varied: one called Johnson 'the only cool Tory', while others compare his style to London's previous Mayor - and equally larger-than-life character - Ken Livingstone.

WinkBall were asked to help the Mayoral office get feedback from Londoners in the build-up to the State of London Debate on Thursday 24th June, an annual event where Londoners have the chance to get their voices heard and the Mayor is held accountable over his policy decisions. WinkBall was seen as an example of a successful UK internet company in an US-dominated field.

Additionally, the fact that it is based in London, utilises the emotional power of video and has employed over 50 reporters during a worldwide recession meant it was a perfect vehicle to help Londoners interact directly with the GLA. Its uniquely fresh approach and technology helped this year’s debate be the most interactive since the Mayor’s office was formed.

The video wall features Mayor Johnson himself "...appealing for the maximum possible participation by Londoners in the State of London Debate. We need to hear from you. So get online on WinkBall.com - please get involved."

This year's debate will be live on the London.gov.uk website where people can watch and put their question to the Mayor.

As well as the debate, the Mayor is legally obliged to produce an Annual Report to describe the achievements of his office 2009-10. WinkBall exclusively spoke to Boris Johnson and seven of his deputies and key advisors to produce a film to launch the report, which can be seen on WinkBall and on the GLA website

The Annual Report film and a compilation of the best of Londoners’
feedback gathered by WinkBall Reporters will be shown on a large screen at City Hall on 24th June as integral parts of the debate, behind the main panel including LBC’s Nick Ferrari, chair of the debate, and Boris Johnson. Fifteen WinkBall Reporters will be at the debate to cover the event, alongside 50 other invited press and political bloggers. The attending 600 members of the public can also record their feedback at WinkBall video stations set up at the event. Their messages will be immediately uploaded to the video wall alongside Boris Johnson and hundreds of other Londoners.

Dr James Ohene-Djan, co-founder of WinkBall, said: “We are proud to have been commissioned to partner this event for Boris Johnson. WinkBall is a politically impartial company whose remit is to be a space where people can be honest about how they feel. We are also passionate about London issues and so we enjoy providing a fair representation of Londoner’s views and ensuring the Mayoral office knows exactly how London feels about their decisions, as well as making the most of cutting edge web technology and citizen reporting.”

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Ashleigh Richardson

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