Sittingbourne and Sheppey MP Derek Wyatt has become the first politician in the world to have his own iPhone app.
The MyMP app aims to get younger people involved in politics by offering text and Twitter based discussions on local and national policies. Users can:
• View what Derek is doing in their area, as well as local stories.
• Tell Derek if something’s bothering them locally, via telephone or email.
• Find out when Derek is holding his surgeries.
• Give their opinion on local and national issues.
• Take part in personal discussions with Derek.
• Watch and take part in discussions between Derek and other residents.
Speaking to Kent Online, Wyatt said : “We want to encourage more MPs to put their application on the site so we have designed it so every MP in the United Kingdom can participate if they just fill in their details.
“It has got a lot of traction; I think a lot of young people like Twittering and texting more than they like emailing. An amazing number of people are already texting on the site.
“I have been quite surprised. More people have want to come to discuss by mobile than have on my website over the last eight years and my website is one of the biggest in Britain politically.”
The app has already had over 4,000 downloads. It’d be interesting to see how many of those 4,000 are actively using the app, or are even based in the Sittingbourne and Sheppy area. Personally though I think it’s a great idea; constituents can often feel removed from and uneasy about contacting their MPs. Wyatt’s embracement of Web 2.0 tools has made him more approachable, and likewise made It easy for constituents to comfortably get involved in local politics. Let’s hope other MPs follow suit.
Pick up the app here, free of charge.