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July 28, 2008 | by  | in Online Only |
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Uhhhh…. Websites!

I was killing some time at work and I noticed this:

wtf.JPG

The juxtaposition of ACT using hip hop happening technology like the internetz and Facebook after bringing Sir Roger Douglas out of retirement was too much for me to take!

This years election campaign advertising is going to be some of the best, and some of the most viral. In order to get around the Electoral finance Act, I reckon we’ll see more little low cost links like this, and “independent” bloggers linking to party sites, perhaps some perdifery with Google’s algorythms making hits on pages more likely.

Websites can and should be used extensively to help put information into the public sphere. Instead of sending out a thick manifesto you can have all the information you need to make an informed decision about who to vote for with just a few taps on your key board. You can look at the information anywhere, on the train, in bed, or like I am, at work (Shhhhhhhhhhhhh)

So here’s my ranking of the party websites, ranks were decided upon by a combination of how the sight looks, how easy it is to navigate around, and how easy it is to find policy, and general online presence. I only did the parties currently in parliament. Sorry to the Kiwi Party, which has recently spruced up it’s site by using what looks like Wordpress.

Lowest ranked is the New Zealand Pacific Party, who do not have a website…

New Zealand First

nzfist.JPG

NZ First got points for only having two pictures of Winston on the home page. What intrigued me most about this page were the tabs, “NZ First Leader”, then “Leader’s Message”. The site is updated regularly with press releases and speeches. One big points winner for me was the online poll on the site!

Maori Party

mp.jpg

The Maori Party’s site had some cool features like drop down tabs from the main tab banner. Hold your cursor over the “Our Party” tab and a drop down box appears with the first tab being Merchandise… I mean really?  When I went to see the party policy it took me to a page where I had to click another link to get to the policy.

They only had three.

It was easy enough to find speeches and press releases but the sight lacked something that made  it user friendly and the he thing that really irked me is that the address is a .com, not org.nz like all the other parties.

Progressive

prog.jpg

A very simple but effective website. The top banner has shades on NZFirst’s. All the good information is on the bar on the left and recent party news feeds to the bar on the right. It is updated regualrly and a comphrensive policy list is only one click away. There are a lot of pretty pictures on the site. The search function is ok and you can customise searches to find the info you really need.

Labour

lab.jpg

It is pretty. It is very… red. It has two pictures of Helen on it. It has a lovely piece of script written for the Budget calculator. It is well laid out and easy to navigate around. The site is filled with juicy multimedia and lots of nice little touches that the previous websites have lacked. However at the time of writing, the only policy on there is still from 2005.

One of the cool features on the site is the “contact us” page, where, in the throws of insomnia have sent messages expressing my undying love to Helen.

ACT

act.jpg

This is one pretty decent website. It is visually appealing. It has well written code, there are polls, it is easy to find the information… but policy was hidden under the guise of “new ideas”. Heather Roy runs a diary/blog through the site and the search engine is very sexy.

The thing I liked the most about it was the scoopit, reddit and all those other little buttons at the top. By adding in features like these it makes it so that when you search for ACT policy (or something similar) there is a better chance that if people scoopit it will get a higher hit ranking.

National

nat.jpg

Four pictures of John Key is a tad excessive, he is nowhere near as good looking as Helen. The site has just been redone, the old site probably would have been behind ACT on this post, but the new one is pretty swish. It is packed with multimedia (videos of John Key), speeches (what John Key says) and policy.

The drop down boxes to the left make it easy to find policy and the calander on the right makes it easy to find out when and where National party stuff is happening near you.

Greens

grns.jpg

This website has to be the best for pointing you exactly where to go. If you want information about the party you know exactly where to go. Updated very regularly the website looks good, works well and it is easy to find info through the search. There is multimedia in there, there is also frogblog. (cough Jackson is a Green Party hack cough cough). They have an almost complete archive of press statements and speeches and a calendar for up coming events.

The way that we get information has changed dramatically in the last two election cycles. Now we’re probably more likely to turn on our computers, go to www.google.co.nz and type in Labour Economic policy… in fact, I don’t even know how people found out about such things 15 years ago. I guess they went down the the public library and compared manifestos.

I predict (and by me, I mean some girl who I was talking to, she’s pretty and intelligent, but shall remain unnamed) that as we move closer to election time we’ll see parties introduce a text messaging service where they’ll text you sound bite info about the specific policy you asked for. Example:

Text: Economic to LABR
Reply: Tax Cuts!

Text Economic to NATS
Reply: Bigger Tax Cuts!

Text Economic to GRNS
Reply: ?

Text LIBNZ
Reply: Economic Policy? That’s for PUSSY’s

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About the Author ()

The editor of this fine rag for 2009.

Comments (6)

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  1. Gibbon says:

    where is the workers party or are they not a registered party ho ho ho ho

  2. Jackson Wood says:

    Workers party website = basic wordpress blog. They haven’t even bothered to change the theme. There is no policy. There is nothing except drivel.

    The only redeeming feature is that you can close down the window.

  3. foo says:

    don’t give the act party too much credit. They just pay some ad company, that ad company pays whatever ad company gets the most impressions.

  4. Michael Oliver says:

    This is why AdBlock is one of the single greatest addons in internet history

  5. Nick Archer says:

    On the Workers Party that is just your subjective opinion Jackson, but hey you are allowed to have that here as this is a blog after all.

    BUT is interesting post you have made about Facebook at the top, I have noticed that there are what I presume to be sponsored links that must be targeted to Facebook users based on the groups and apps one belongs to, it is interesting that ACT popped up first for you as opposed to any other parties.

    One thing I am interested in though is whether that ACT link is a group (that seems to advertise hence the MORE ADS/Advertise link below it), just an ad, an app or a sponsored link (advertising) that is targeted based on your usage stats/type to market to you political options…

    And this of course will have to be accounted under the Electoral Finance Act.

    Yeah as for some of the websites above some are a bit in your face (ACT), messy (Progressive), a bit too cheeky (NZ First), a ripoff of Obama (National, just like I predicted they would in the pages of Salient last year…), Labour’s is ok, I think the multi media helps, and you are right the Greens one looks the most original and fresh, they should really advertise it with stickers and on their posters as it will help get them votes at the end of the day because there whole buzz has been about being innovative and fresh…

  6. Hillary says:

    But nick, the workers party blog is just a wordpress blog. There is also no policy on there. What is on there is marxist literature/propaganda, which as an ideology has failed. So I think you’ll find that jackson’s descriptive: “drivel” and other criticism was objective, not subjective.

    Nothing of what you say adds anything to the post. Please stop clinging on to salient. It is sad. Few people like your long winded and superfluous opinions.

    I’d also like to point out that Jackson forgot United Future. WHOOPS!

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