In some of my other endeavors, I really would like to give the Repbulicans a voice. Really. But it’s very difficult to find out what the GOP has to say on anything when they can’t even coordinate a web site.
I went to the GOP web site, GOP.COM, in search of this week’s response to the president. President Obama began giving weekly video addresses, beyond print and beyond the radio. Obama has the Internet down, and Democrats have responded.
The RNC’s web site is a mess. There seems to be a project underway to update it, but the last update is almost a month ago.
This is from May 15 (emphasis original to the post):
5/15/09 Update: What you see here is a placeholder between what was and what is to come for GOP.com. Don’t get too used to this page–the complete rebuild is around the corner. Soon we’ll have a new look and a more enjoyable, modern, open and participatory way to share our ideals with the Country.
On Friday of last week, we chose a vendor to rebuild our website and digital presence; the two are not the same and the distinction matters—a lot. It matters especially so for us.
The website you see today is difficult to update, hard to use, and locked in a Web 1.0 environment. It is also stale. It is in need of a massive spring clean. To be fair, my predecessor and good friend, Cyrus Krohn, and his team were on the way to changing all of this. Then, we elected a new Chairman, re-grouped, re-staffed and then, finally, we locked & loaded.
The project is underway.
There appears to be a (presumably) wonderful Web 2.0 design project underway. But if the GOP builds it, will anyone come?
Another quote from the same post (emphasis original to the post):
Pew recently released a study about politics and technology. I quote (the emphasis is mine): “Despite the Dem’s recent success in using the internet, Republicans as a whole (68%) are actually more likely to be online political users then Dem’s (53%). 84% of Republicans go online and of that group 79% are online political users. Only 40% of Republicans engage in online activism. (Online activism is defined by three components; 1) going online for political news and information 2) communicating with others about politics online and 3) using social media tools (FBOOK, Twitter, Email) to interact with other voters/campaigns.)”
I wouldn’t float those stats too much. If only 40% of Republicans engage in online activism, then what’s the point? The fact is, Republicans are following the Dems on this one, and, with the party lacking any clear focus or message at this point, building a Web 2.0 web site seems to be the last thing that should be on the agenda. Besides, by the time Republicans catch up and begin working the system with Facebook, Twitter, and [gasp] Email, the Dems will have already be riding the next wave. They already are.
Innovation is on the blue side of the table, both in political thought, critical thinking, and the Internet. A new web page won’t change that.