Sunday, January 15, 2006

Lib Dems- internet failure

OK, I'm following the LibDem race closely (I always follow leadership elections closely, but this one has added comedy value). So, I'm looking at the respective websites.

This is what I see at Hughes site. If, of course, I simply didn't have flashblock installed, and instead didn't want Macromedia on my PC, I'd see less than that. No search engine text, no internal linking, no nothing. Flash driven sites are a bad idea. Someone care to expain this to our taxi driving barrister?

Simon could take a leaf from Ming's, he's done what any sensible candidate should do with a campaign site, he's used proven blogging software andcustomised it to look good. Oaten hasn't got a campaign site, but hs has a standard MP site, which is, well, basic and functional. Huhne has which, while it does have small text size, makes standards compliance a feature and is resizeable. It looks dated in design (read: I think it's ugly), but it works and has content.

So, winner of campaign websites in order:
  1. Ming- nice, elegent, functional, not trying to reinvent the wheel
  2. Huhne- it's there, it works, it doesn't piss me off
  3. Oaten- it's not even there yet, but his personal page isn't ugly
  4. Hughes- It's flash driven, I can't link to individual pages, I can copy and paste text but I then can't source it, it annoys me, it's not standards complaint, it won't work in a text browser or on my phone browser (I just checked, Opera Mini, it reads this site and Europhobia fine, has a bit of problem with DK's graphics and loves the Guardian news site), it's just wrong.
Update: 25-2-06, follow up review of improvements here.

Can anyone tell that I'm a bit obsessive about decent web design? Why?

Because it's easy. I know this, because I can do it. If I can do it, as a hobby, then a professional politician with an expenses budget should be able to pay someone, or at least get a volunteer supporter to do it properly. Alternately, get some professional help from the Political Weblog Project, let's face it, when Boris runs for Tory leader? He's got his site up and running already, with a massive pagerank and web presence.

What do you reckon, any chance they'll catch up with the rest of us any time soon?

However, the LibDem bloggers are doing a good job of coverage, the aggregator, is useful, with good links, and Liberal Review is doing a great set of round up posts, very informative, on top of that, my regularly read favourites The Apollo Project, Quaequamblog and Militant Moderate are giving good coverage, amongst many others. The Tory bloggers were good, but I was still finding my feet then, still hadn't found half the 'most read' blogs, now I'm wondering around the fringes and finding some excellent stuff.

Keep it up guys, just, well, tell Hughes and Oaten to get their acts together?

Update: Care to persuade me to join the party?


raw carrot said...

What I find most amusing about the Simon Hughes site, is that they have used flash, and then all you get is plain text style stuff. I'd be a bit more sympathetic to Hughes et al. if they were making full use of Flash (lots of funky animation and all that nonsense) - but they're not. It's just normal-looking text. How dull. And, how utterly needless.

It is of course possible that Hughes demanded "a flash site", only to be given "a Flash(tm) site" hahaha.

It is also possible that they've used Flash to frustrate any attempts to link to particular pages of the site!

Whatever happened, it's a mess.

Mr Eugenides said...

If Boris Johnston is going to get elected rector at Edinburgh University, he should really update his site...

Serf said...

Also a must read on the Lib Dem's race is the following

written from a Conservative point of view.

James said...

"tell Hughes and Oaten to get their acts together?"

Now why would I want to do a damn fool thing like that?

MatGB said...

For the love of a decent contest and the system itself?

Because your man, no matter how we may regret it ourselves, isn't likely to win, so Hughes vs Ming, and if Hughes wins the party looks stupid if anyone caches his site?

Besides, a proper liberal is always nice to their opponents...

Barrie Wood said...

Pity political sites forget a fair few of us use MAC or Linux....and use browsers other than that produced by the evil empire than is Microsoft !