By now most of us have heard about the websites of McCain and Obama. Weâ€™ve read the reviews, and watched newscasters make reference to their technical savvy or lack thereof. We’ve seen blogs discussing the site designers and I’ve even seen articles chronicling change to the sites over their entire existance.
What I wanted was to note the feel of the sites, so this article is not an endorsement of either candidate and certainly not a comparison of the technical side of the sites. I donâ€™t think anyone will argue against Obama being the more computer literate of the two. McCain let it be known some time ago that his computing skills are nil. But what about that large majority of voters that arenâ€™t up on the latest codes and web gadgets. What about those that donâ€™t know PHP from TCP, Web 2/0 from RSS feeds. How do the masses view the sites?
A single click takes you to McCainâ€™s site where a video clip is playing of McCain explaining his position of joining together for America. His message is simple and almost fatherly in its delivery. There is a quiet comforting sort of music playing in the background. This is followed by a vintage clip describing McCainâ€™s service and also a clip of an injured Mc Cain giving his name and rank and office number. The series of clips is obviously designed to foster trust of McCainâ€™s dedication and service to America. All in all I think it does a good job of this. The feel of the page is simplicity, as there are only 7 clickable options. If anything, it looks a little empty. A click of the â€œcontinue to McCain/Palinâ€ takes you to the real John McCain.com page. The original landing page is just a splash screen.
A single click of Obamaâ€™s link takes you directly to his main site. There are more than 50 clickable choices open to the viewer on everything from rally clips to Obama T-shirts. The overall layout is well organized considering the volume of links and information provided. There is no musical background and the overall feel from the site is one of change and excitement. The sound of crowds cheering is the only noticeable background from one of the embedded clips.
So for me the overall tone of the Obama site is a little more upbeat and the tone of the McCain site is simpler and quieter.
Notice Iâ€™m trying not to make any sort of decision on which is better or which is more technical and at this point you should be asking; what is the truth that was revealed? How do the masses view the sites?
OK here it is. After visiting their sites, which I only visited for the purpose gathering information for an article, I asked others what they thought of the candidateâ€™s web sites. I asked fellow employees at PC Pitstop. I asked people with millions in their accounts even after the market crash. I asked my friend the retired teacher and my neighbor the college professor. I asked out of work shop owners and even the last two food service people that Iâ€™ve had. I asked an airline stewardess. I asked a female attorney and a property appraiser and they all had the same answer and the only answer I encountered, â€œIâ€™m embarrassed to say I havenâ€™t been to either siteâ€.
Yes, thatâ€™s right, not one person I asked had been to either of the candidates sites. So, how do the masses view the sites…. eh, they don’t. I know this is in no way a scientific sampling but Holy Toledo, how can this be? After the first few people it got to be almost a quest. In all I asked well over 30 people in many walks of life and even in multiple states. It started when I was out of town for a business meeting so that’s how I was able to get such a varied cross section. I continued to ask people even after my return home. After a solid two weeks of asking I made my final phone call to someone I thought for sure would have answered, “I’ve been to both, of course”, but the answer was a surprising “neither”.
Are all people this nonchalant about their vote or have I inflated the importance of the internet? Are we over exposed by the constant barage of TV advertising and daily political phone canvasing. I’m at the point that I can almost recite, verbatum, clips being broadcast. GET IT OVER WITH ALREADY! TV is starting to mimic theTOP 40 radio stations of long ago. Replay after replay of the same clip. Is that the answer? Are they just beating us to death with this stuff?
I know this is just an opinion but the good news is that like a lot of other things, we all have one. Please leave yours below.