Paper #1: Politics Online
assignment asks you to look at the web sites of declared candidates for
the U.S. presidency in 2008. Look at the nature of the site, what
content appears on the site, how candidates use their web sites, and how
dynamic (regularly updated) the site appears to be.
Republican and Democratic Candidates (top 5 in
each party, according
to Polling Report, 13 September 2007)
Select three of each party's candidates to analyze, and find
their main web site (please also provide this information). You should
look at the site for content, usability, currency, etc. Try to
find issues and answers. See if the site includes some way to
sign up for regular updates. Look at the site to determine overall
quality of it as a sort of marketing site (because that’s really
what it is) for these candidates.
Please address the following questions, explaining and providing examples
as appropriate. Base your answers on the candidate and major political
party sites above:
- To what extent
is the web a useful medium for political candidates? Compare this medium
to what was available for candidates in a pre-webbera.
- To what extent
is the web useful for voters or supporters of prospective candidates?
What can they do that they were unable to do before the web showed up?
- Which of the sites
above did you believe were effective as political sites? Be specific
about which ones you liked or did not like. Rank them from 1-3 in each
party's cluster, then indicate who you believe has the best web site
of the six you examined.
- Was there content
you couldn't find, but which you believe should have been at the various
sites? Explain for each site.
- Did any of the
web sites offer any "push" opportunities to keep people in
touch with either candidates or parties? How effective do you believe
these opportunities are?
This paper is due two weeks from tonight, 27 September 2007.
This page created and maintained by
Dr. Deb Geisler
Department of Communication and
Boston, MA 02108
Last updated 13 September 2007