Steele: Get the RNC Web Site Fixed!

Open letter to the eCampaign folks at www.gop.com

Alas, the GOP web site at www.gop.com has a few good ideas, but they are currently poorly, poorly implemented.  The GOP has a pretty fair idea in allowing one to set up your own web site/blog at whatever-your-id.gop.com – however their whole platform is so buggy, it’s going to result in more harm than good.  I’ll just hit the high points here:

  • So many bugs!  You cannot recover a password, nor log in, nor properly edit your profile.  Pix, videos and comments do not appear, and hundreds, if not thousands, of sites have been created by folks who did not realize they were creating a web site and thus have no content.  This really hurts the idea of a myGOP web site.
  • Too many javascript prompts and error messages were written by ESL programmers.  Improper English and bad grammar are so rife at gop.com that it begins to appear that the GOP would be pro-illegals.  If there is anywhere that should be careful about proper English, it’s gop.com.  My company hires offshore programmers too, mostly from India, but we always check their English before we allow the code to go into production.  What political conclusions would visitors draw?  What about setting an example?
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY: the GOP is pursuing an online strategy that promises to diffuse effort rather than concentrate effort, and will turn away experienced bloggers (presumably the very audience they want to attract) after just a couple of hours of effort.

Check out my website there, elronaldo.gop.com – I wasted a whole half day on this.  The headlines section allows you to post only headlines from the RNC list – not headlines (or Gadgets or Widgets) from your own sources.   The blog section will only allow you to type in an article – and not allow a reference or embed or object for a feed or Ustream TV embed.   Sorry, I already have my own blog and I’m not going to copy/paste every article into elronaldo.gop.com – the one time I tried this, it did not preserve the formatting.

Now I am in the web services business (800Cart.com ) and I understand just as well as the next publisher the principle of  ‘publish-it-now-so folks-can-see-what-is-so-attractive-and-fix-the-bugs-later’ as well as the next guy.  But the GOP carried this principle way, way too far.

If GOP.com wants to have thousands of identical, lame ‘web sites’ to lower its search engine authority, that’s one thing.  But if they want to harness the web/blog talent that’s already out there, they will allow Gadget, widgets, Ustream embeds, rss feeds and all of the labor-savings devices that bloggers have evolved to distribute their political thinking.