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Join Rudy: Not Just a Brochure Anymore. It's Much Worse Than That.

BY Michael Turk | Thursday, March 22 2007

Rudy Giuliani's campaign rolled out their new website sometime in the last 16 hours and, true to my word, I'm ready to take a look. At first glance, all I could say was "Ugh!" The images are broken, the page has been loading for quite some time, and the "live feed" seems to be a catchy phrase for "stale press releases".

Having tried to dig deeper, all I can say is a) this is the website of a Congressional candidate in outer Idaho, not a Presidential contender, and b) I'd like to tall you more, but most of it is broken.

Click through to "The Buzz", which is supposed to be the campaign blog, and you get a bunch of headlines that kick errors when you click on them, and a number of "views" for the headline, but no obvious way to comment (maybe you can if the story item loads, but like I said, they don't for me...)

The widgets available in the "On Your Blog" section are 253 pixels wide, which is much wider than the columns for such things on most blogs. "Want to help Rudy, just break your HTML to do it!!"

Like The Buzz, the call talk radio feature is broken, so selecting your state doesn't give you the list of cities or stations that it should.

The tell a friend feature is probably the most interactive item on the site. It, at least, lets you customize your message. I'd like to tell you it worked, but like most of the rest of the site, clicking submit gave me an error.

Most of the options to get involved consist of nothing but an option to fill out a form with your name and e-mail address. It's sort of like 1997 all over again on Rudy's site.

I understand this review is somewhat disjointed, but I'm kind of apoplectic. I can't believe his campaign thought this was ready for prime time.

Update: Well, I must have caught the site right at the moment they were launching this morning. Either that or they have the fastest coders on the planet, because most of the broken code I complained about this morning is now working fine.

That being the case, my feelings really haven't changed much. there is so little here that is new or even interesting. The few options for interaction with the campaign are to fill out a form and be done with it. The only option to engage in discussion is to share the reasons you support Rudy (which I suspect are moderated and not likely to appear during your visit).

I stand by my first assessment. This is a website for a down-ballot race. This isn't a website for a guy running for Mayor of New York, let alone President.