Jonathan Brun

Liberal.ca could be better – a lot better

The Liberal Party’s website could be a lot better. Compared to Obama’s, it looks like my high school project (which won some competitions in 1998). Of course that is not saying much; Obama has infinite sums of money and the best political website ever built, so far.

At a recent meeting at Concordia, I asked Stephane Dion, “There is a “r√©volution tranquille” currently going on. People of my generation (25 years old) now expect to be part of the process and they are very comfortable online, what is the Liberal party doing to respond to this shift in behavior”. His answer was along the lines of, “We realize the internet is a tool we have to better leverage for fundraising and mobilization, I am sure there are many young people here today who would like to talk with you.” And that is the problem.

Dion, and his like minded friends, consider the internet a tool in the same way television ads, radio addresses or pamphlets are. The internet is completely different. Why? Really, do I need to answer that? The internet allows for a two way, contextualized, instantaneous dialogue with anyone and everyone in Canada.

I am a liberal party supporter and a fan of “The Green Shift”, but they have to do more with their online site. They do not need to reinvent the wheel or hire an ex-facebook employee to run it (Obama did), just copy Obama. Let me state that again, “JUST COPY OBAMA!”

The first page should have the following (in either French or English):

1. A clear message (read: “The Green Shift”)
2. A field to input your email
3. A field to identify your general location (Postal Code)

That’s it.

As for the main page:

1. Make the donation button easy to find
2. Make the the party leader’s blog and that of your local MP (remember the postal code) prominent.
3. Less is more – take away things that do not need to be there. More information is not necessarily better.
4. List upcoming LOCAL events (remember the postal code)

That’s it.

Also bigger text fields, bigger buttons, nicer layout etc. Web 101

I have volunteered my time to the Marc Garneau’s campaign, but they do not seem to want it. Marc’s campaign at least has some thought leadership from an individual by the name of Wendy Corn (correction, post originally read: Clark). They developed a site called “Marc’s Stars“, which attempts to bring some social networking into the fold – but the site, also, could be better.

All the things I mentioned require no (ok, little) money and probably less time than what was already put in. One last comment, the site is coded in ASP, which some of you may recognize as a Microsoft enterprise technology. My feeling (and it is just a feeling) is that some Liberal party members said to each other, “We need a website”, and another agreed, “Yes, we do”. The first liberal then replied, “Let’s ask my friend Bob to build it, he has a small tech company so he must know how to do this.” And then it was built.

Wake up Liberal party or else Harper is here to stay!

P.S. Dion and Ignatieff had pretty good websites during their leadership race, what happened?

Published on August 21, 2008