RFP Take Two: RNC Wants "Online 'Republican Community'"
BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, March 10 2009
Whether it's the Republican National Committee's second pass at an Request for Proposal or a complement to the much-scoffed-at document discussed yesterday isn't clear, but a more detailed five-page RNC RFP is indeed circulating. In it, the RNC puts out a call for the development of a network of state-level sub-sites in addition to the hub at GOP.com.
What the RNC wants, they say, is a site template that looks like Facebook or NFL.com or FoxNews.com and functions as the backbone of a distributed network of sites populated by state parties and campaigns -- nonetheless connected back to the mothership at RNC headquarters. "More than building a 'Republican website,'" it reads "we are looking to build a website that will organize and expand an online 'Republican community'."
That party-as-platform approach might be designed to address calls from the the online grassroots for a MyBarackObama.com-killer. But whether Michael Steele's RNC is aiming to actually subsume the independent sites of the California Republican GOP or Texas GOP or other local parties is an open question.
They're most interested in developers willing to work on the Microsoft .NET framework. A source says that that stipulation might put off a great many otherwise interested firms. Frankly, though, we're well beyond my zone of comfortablity when it comes to programming nuts and bolts.
This time, the project has a budget: a quarter million for GOP.com, and another $200,000 for the network of sites.