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Join Rudy joins us in the modern world

BY David All | Tuesday, September 4 2007

As the Washington Post reported, this past weekend visitors to Rudy Giuliani's campaign website (www.joinrudy2008.com) came face-to-face with a placeholder which read, "Happy Labor Day Weekend! JoinRudy2008.com is down temporarily and will be live again soon with an improved look." Why the re-launch? Getting lapped by Fred because of a primitive platform was probably a significant boost to the argument constantly being made by the online team.

The bad news for Rudy was that placeholder was the only thing on the site. Not even an email capture or a link to a donate page made the static page. Energy lost. The decision had been made to yank the site before the new one had finished cooking and the Post nailed them for it.

The good news for Rudy is that Labor Day weekend is over and the modern site is up-and-running. Let's have a look under the hood and see what we can find...

OVERALL
I'm not jumping up-and-down with excitement and calling this a model for success in the modern world, but the new site is a step in the right direction. But perhaps more importantly then what is happening on his site, Rudy now has a real and honest presence off his site (where we all spend most of our time). In fact, he's finally hanging out with us in both facebook and myspace, and their YouTube channel has some interesting content thanks to a young, campaign operative named Dan Meyers who is hosting a series called, "Running with Rudy." (Note: Meyers also visibly maintains the presence in the socnets.)

In other words, their online strategy appears to be transforming in to one that is modern, effective, and relevant on the 2008 campaign trail.

WEBSITE
I might just be getting used to seeing these things, but like most campaign websites, nothing special stands out at me as remarkable or will keep me personally coming back for more. It's fine. He's capturing emails, he's got a "blog" that isn't really a blog, and he's funneling people quickly in to the area they want to be in. They're doing what needs to be done - finally.

My eyes were quickly drawn to the socnet section because the all too familiar flickr logo popped off the page. And then I noticed their National House Party Night icon which will feature a live webcast with Rudy on September 26 (good placement for exposure).

OFF-SITE
Of course, what I'm most concerned about isn't what's on the site, but what they're doing in the real, modern world. After all, I'll likely never personally go back to his site, but I've got loads of "friends" that love the guy so it'll be interesting to see how Rudy can motivate his network of supporters to promote him among their network of friends. I like the idea of having one personality, Dan Meyers, "be" Rudy Giuliani in socnets. Back in 2006 I used the moniker "spokesblogger" because I was a spokesman for Republicans in the blogosphere. I think Dan is similarly emerging as the first in a new role for online political operatives. And, of course, I would be remiss not to note in this space that Rudy's myspace privacy setting is finally turned off.

CONCLUSION
Back in July I offered five tips to Rudy to get his online game running strong. If all five of those haven't already been addressed, they're well on their way to doing so (before it's too late). A dollop of porridge to Katie Harbath and the rest of Team Giuliani.

Welcome to the modern world. We've been saving a seat for you.

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