Monday, May 21, 2007

Bill Richardson Now Has The Best Campaign Website - Hands Down

Bill Richardson has the impressive resume and - with his official declaration to run for president today - he has a website to match his resume.

Looking at the websites of the all eight candidates Richardson's is the best - hands down. There are several reasons for this.

Let me go into detail:

Navigation: Richardson's website is easy to navigate, when you click through the top bar you get all the information you need, above the bar is a box to register for email updates, the action center is clearly highlighted on the left hand side and there's a welcome video on the right hand side. When you scroll further down you get a more detailed look at news, blog entries, issues, etc, all the information you could also find by clicking the top bar. The only additional information you wouldn't find in the top bar are the links to PartyBuilder, MySpace, etc. That's how it should be. You should have a clear overview of the site without having to scroll down. Only on the third look does the website seem a little crowded. But just a little.

The other websites are equally easy to navigate, especially Hillary, Obama, Edwards, and Biden, to a lesser degree Kucinich, Dodd, and Gravel.

Information: Couldn't be better. You can find it all by navigating the top bar. Say, you're looking for his stance on Iraq, you go to issues, click on Iraq and get quite a bit of information. In addition to his stance on Iraq you can download a two page flyer and find related news and press releases.

The other websites are not as good as Richardson's. Hillary has a video in addition to her stance , at Obama's site you can submit your ideas. Edwards' issues page is disappointing. He has one paragraph on "Restoring America's Moral Leadership in the World" and that's it. I only found his plan on Iraq by looking at the frontpage again. I don't understand why they can't link to it from their issues page. Dodd doesn't have an issues page. But there's a link to his Iraq stance clearly visible on the frontpage. What you get is a video with his remarks on Iraq and a transcript. On Gravel's website issues are front and center with Iraq on the top. He writes only a couple of paragraphs on it - but more than Edwards. At Kucinich's site Iraq is one of the top issues and is incorporated into the "International Cooperation" page. On the sidebar you'll find related stories and forum topics. The only one who can compete, at least on the Iraq issue - I didn't look at the other issue pages, is Joe Biden. He has a detailed plan for Iraq and a seperate website devoted to his plan.

Networking: Thus far Obama had the best networking site, and only true networking site in my opinion, of all the candidates. Hillary's action center is not the real thing as networking between supporters (like personal blogs and messaging system) is not taking place. Edwards has a community blog and his One Corps site. Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel have a forum and Dodd and Biden don't have any form of networking at all - apart from writing comments on their blog posts.

Richardson's web team seems to have taken a look at all the other websites and must have wondered "what more can we do" as I would say their networking site now beats that of Obama. Their Action Center seems to be modeled on the same platform as and the Democratic Party's PartyBuilder and the same functions. The only additional function on Richardson's network that Obama doesn't have (but PartyBuilder does) is that you can write a letter to the editor of your local paper.

External networking sites: Most campaigns are using them, so we're looking at two things here: a) are they linking to the networking sites directly from their frontpage and b) are they linking to the Democratic Party's PartyBuilder.

Richardson does both a) and b) - as does Obama. All the other candidates don't.

Hillary, Biden, Kucinich, and Edwards link to external networking sites, though not to PartyBuilder, Dodd and Gravel make you find their links but they don't link to PartyBuilder either. Which is a shame. As I said before it runs on the same platform as Obama's and Richardson's networking sites and is a great tool, both to enhance their own network and to build a network for Democrats in general. PartyBuilder provides an extra page for presidential candidates and links to their profiles. I did a little test to see how candidates use this tool and added them to my friends network. They added me in the following order: Kucinich, Gravel, Obama, Biden, Richardson. After more than a week still no reaction from Hillary, Edwards and Dodd which I find surprising considering their resources.

I've also set up Nevada groups for all campaigns:

Nevada for Barack Obama
Nevada for Bill Richardson
Nevada for Chris Dodd
Nevada for Dennis Kucinich
Nevada for Hillary Clinton
Nevada for Joe Biden
Nevada for John Edwards
Nevada for Mike Gravel

Nevada: Speaking of Nevada, how much do the campaigns currently care about the Silver State? I'm not gonna talk about their appearances in Nevada right now, nor about their campaign infrastructure in the state but only about their web presence.

People always say Richardson needs to win or do extremely well in Nevada to stand any chance in the primaries. Not surprisingly, Richardson's Nevada page is the best among all presidential candidates. You'll find links to the Action Center, Nevada related news, press releases, video, and photo gallery. The same applies to the other state pages (Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina).

Dennis Kucinich is the only other candidate to have a Nevada page. Unfortunately, it hasn't been updated since March. Obama, Hillary, and Edwards are still in the old New Hampshire and Iowa mode, as they currently only have state sites for these two. I couldn't find any state specific pages at Dodd's, Gravel's, and Biden's websites.

Overall, Richardson has today launched a website that's ahead of the pack and his rivals will have some catching up to do, some more, some not that much.

Please note: this is not an endorsement of Richardson on my part. This is an analysis of his website compared to those of other candidates and does not reflect my preferences for the primaries.

1 comment:

America Speaks said...

Perhaps Richardson can do for America what he did for Peregrine Systems, Inc.