The Boston Phoenix has an interesting article comparing the websites of the Presidential candidates. It’s worth reading, and worth spending some time visiting all of the candidates sites not for the messages but to see how the candidates and their campaign organizations are embracing the web, multimedia and social networking to get those messages across.
Here’s the opening paragraph:
Three years ago, when the Red Sox were winning and John Kerry was losing, YouTube hadn’t even been invented. Now it’s used as a medium for presidential debates. MySpace, too, was a baby back then (it had just turned one), and on the slim chance he was a member, it’s a safe bet that Ron Paul had a good deal fewer than 88,476 friends.
This Presidential election is serving as a high-stakes showcase for web design and social networking ideas, and librarians could learn a lot about both from studying the candidates’ sites as a source of ideas about getting attention, building support, and providing access to information. Unlike libraries, of course, the candidates are not striving for any sort of neutrality or balance in the information they provide. But it’s interesting to see the various techniques they use, and judge for yourselves which are successful and which are not. (The Boston Phoenix article is peppered with snarky comments to assist you in that part, but your opinions may vary.)
For more detailed coverage on this aspect of the election, check out TechPresident group blog, which includes some interesting features like access to Facebook, MySpace, Technorati and YouTube statistics for the candidates, constantly updated.