Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

Fred08.com Still Buggy, But a Good Campaign Site

BY Colin Delany | Thursday, September 6 2007

Cross-posted on e.politics

In honor of his announcement last night, I just checked out Fred Thompson's official site, and I gotta say, very slick Flash interface, guys. A few bugs here and there, though — when I clicked on some of the stories on the main panel at the top of the front page, I got error messages (better check that Action Script). Here are some general observations:

  • I definitely like the "Register to Vote" link in the top navbar. Interesting — looks like they used Ajax or some other kind of active behind-the-scenes database interaction in that feature.
  • Nice job collected cell numbers on the volunteer page — I signed up to be Fred's new Friend and happily forked over my number to see what they'll do with it (don't worry Mom, this is business — I ain't voting Republican any time soon).
  • Lots of potential demographic/interest data to be gained from the broad array of "groups" people can join when they sign up — good opportunities for message-targeting.
  • Lots and lots of video — perfect for a candidate who's spent a lot of time in front of a camera. Nice use of a wide frame, too, and the picture quality is generally excellent. Good job supplementing the video with text in the Principles section, since that lets people skim if they don't want to absorb.
  • Good focus on social networking sites, with the site icons prominent at the bottom of every page.
  • Nice widgets! Widgets for headlines, fundraising, house parties, plus good old fashioned buttons for folks who don't like embeds.
  • Overall, it makes Rudy's new site, which offers volunteers many of the same opportunities, look quite cluttered and busy by comparison. Design matters! Clean design creates an initial good impression, steers eyes and makes it easy for potential supporters to find what they want. Look at Fred's Contribute button — easy to spot, since it's red and up in the top corner, but subtle enough that the site doesn't scream "give me money."

Critiques?

  • Fix those bugs! Just a matter of time and testing, I'm sure.
  • Let's get some more content in here — I'm not the first to wonder if Federalism is really enough of an issue to base a presidential campaign on (unless it's we're in the year 1800 and I didn't notice). Again, a question of time.
  • No community-building of any kind? What about letting your supporters contribute some kind of content (besides the contents of their wallets)?
  • Did I mention that it's a little light on the content front? What's this guy running on?

Let's see how this one fills out. Good start, though.

cpd

Transparency and Public Shaming: Pakistan Tackles Tax Evasion

In Pakistan, where only one in 200 citizens files their income tax return, authorities published a directory of taxpayers' details for the first time. Officials explained the decision as an attempt to shame defaulters into paying up.

GO

wednesday >

Facebook Seeks Approval as Financial Service in Ireland. Is the Developing World Next?

On April 13 the Financial Times reported that Facebook is only weeks away from being approved as a financial service in Ireland. Is this foray into e-money motivated by Facebook's desire to conquer the developing world before other corporate Internet giants do? Maybe.

GO

The Rise and Fall of Iran's “Blogestan”

The robust community of Iranian bloggers—sometimes nicknamed “Blogestan”—has shrunk since its heyday between 2002 – 2010. “Whither Blogestan,” a recent report from the University of Pennsylvania's Iran Media Program sought to find out how and why. The researchers performed a web crawling analysis of Blogestan, survey 165 Persian blog users, and conducted 20 interviews with influential bloggers in the Persian community. They found multiple causes of the decline in blogging, including increased social media use and interference from authorities.

GO

tuesday >

Weekly Readings: What the Govt Wants to Know

A roundup of interesting reads and stories from around the web. GO

Russia to Treat Bloggers Like Mass Media Because "the F*cking Journalists Won't Stop Writing"

The worldwide debate over who is and who isn't a journalist has raged since digital media made it much easier for citizen journalists and other “amateurs” to compete with the big guys. In the United States, journalists are entitled to certain protections under the law, such as the right to confidential sources. As such, many argue that blogging should qualify as journalism because independent writers deserve the same legal protections as corporate employees. In Russia, however, earning a place equal to mass media means additional regulations and obligations, which some say will lead to the repression of free speech.

GO

Politics for People: Demanding Transparent and Ethical Lobbying in the EU

Today the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) launched a campaign called Politics for People that asks candidates for the European Parliament to pledge to stand up to secretive industry lobbyists and to advocate for transparency. The Politics for People website connects voters with information about their MEP candidates and encourages them to reach out on Facebook, Twitter or by email to ask them to sign the pledge.

GO

monday >

Security Agencies Given Full Access to Telecom Data Even Though "All Lebanese Can Not Be Suspects"

In late March, Lebanese government ministers granted security agencies unrestricted access to telecommunications data in spite of some ministers objections that it violates privacy rights. Global Voices reports that the policy violates Lebanon's existing surveillance and privacy law, Law 140, but has gotten little coverage from the country's mainstream media.

GO

More