Finally, our thoughts on johnmccain.com
Yeah, we know we are spending a lot of time today on this website, but you guys know how much we love web politics.
At first we just saw the homepage and thought it was too dark and depressing for a candidate who already had a bad rep for being well…dark and depressing. But then we got to playing and now we can tell you that this website is hands down the best presidential website out there right now. It’s awesome.
Design/Theme – It’s a little dark for our taste. We think presidential candidates should scream optimism, but we can see what John Weaver and the McCain crew is thinking with this very classic design. The black and white imagery gives McCain a very distinguished look. It also gives McCain a more youthful vibe while covering up an aged, bruised, and battered body. We didn’t like it at first, but it may be what McCain needs.
Video – We love McCain’s use of videos, but this is where we find our biggest gripe. Unlike Mitt Romney who is leading the pack with MittTV, John McCain does not allow us to embed and share his videos. Embedding is one of the options that has made YouTube so popular. We wanted to put McCain’s website introduction as our ‘video of the day’ on The Shot’s homepage, but he does not allow us to embed the videos. This is a big mistake. Embedding allows people to view the video without having to go to the website. Yeah, we know that you REALLY want folks to go to your website, but you should allow a communications medium without that journey. Still, they are good videos…except for the Pirates of the Caribbean music.
Netroots – McCain is joining Barack Obama in taking netroots to the next level. By utilizing MySpace and Facebook type features, McCain is allowing users to get involved and communicate in ways never before seen. The problem since Howard Dean ushered in the internet age is that web gurus have been unable to transform e-activity into actual votes. Dean himself was a prime example. Through McCainSpace, the McCain crew is attempting to take netroots to the next level. This alone puts mccain.com on top.
Don’t recreate the wheel – Despite McCain’s great netroots capabilities, we fundamentally believe that a candidate shouldn’t recreate the wheel. McCainSpace is cool, but people are already using YouTube, MySpace, and Facebook. Why recreate the wheel when you can tap into an existing resource? Unlike John Edwards and Barack Obama, McCain does not use existing internet mediums effectively. He may be trying too hard.
Get local – John McCain has a state contact information page that we just love. By clicking on South Carolina, you can see the state contact information, latest state news, and all the state endorsements McCain has locked down. All politics is local and this should be a must for any presidential website. We don’t understand why other candidates aren’t doing the same.
Undecided – We love this too. Why? Because most voters are undecided. They see this tab and automatically go to it. Supporters will play around all day, donate, and create their own McCainSpace page. Non-supporters won’t visit at all. This gives undecided voters, the majority of voters, a place to get the information they need without having to journey through the playground.
Conclusion: It needs a few changes, but for the most part John McCain’s website is the best in the Republican field.