When I was hanging out with these guys, about 20 years ago (dear God, where does the time go?), we used to rate probationary speeches on two criteria: style and content. (Sometimes, someone would throw "form" in there to confuse people, which, at 3:00 Saturday morning wasn't too hard to do. Usually, at that point, we'd head down to the Corner for breakfast.) Do well enough, or speak late enough that people had stopped caring, usually about the time the keg ran out, and you passed.
It is in that spirit that I offer the following critiques of the two Sentorial websites.
Neither site dies here, that is, neither site has such a horrible design or color scheme that it sends you, screaming, here. Both sets of site designers seem to have mastered the basics: red, white, and blue, but muted, and faded into each other. Nice menus, pictures of the candidates, large content area.
And yet. Coors's site leaves you searching much of the time, while Salazar's has the menu equivalent of street signs, rollover popup menus. You've got people to your site, you don't want them wasting time looking at the endorsements when what they really want is your position on gun control. (Actually, what you really want is for them to hit the "Contribute" button. Both sites make that pretty easy.) One click and I'm at Salazar's Press Releases. Coors makes me run through two separete clicks, a bunch of text I'm not going to read anyway.
This stuff is easy to fix, and Coors should fix it. He's spending money on the site as it is, he should at least get his money's worth.
What's going to take a lot more work to fix is the content. Here's where Salazar eats Coors lunch, and washes it down with a Bud.
Salazar's press releases are up to date. Coors's most recent press release is from lsat month. Coors makes you register for a press kit. Salazar has a schedule of events and a Meetup site. Key stuff, to let people get involved. Salazar also has his TV ads on his site. Half of Coors's links take you to registration forms. His should should spend more time giving information and less time asking for it.
Finally, and most importantly, Salazar mirrors his site in Spanish. Coors is already at a language disadvatage, why compound it? Please don't make ideological arguments to me, unless you believe Coors can afford to just write off the Spanish-speaking media.
As a way to keep track of the campaign, the Coors site just doesn't offer any value-added.
Look, it's easy to make too much of this, but the blog is a web-based medium, and I think we can write about candidates' websites without it being a case of digital naval-gazing. I realize that, from the point of view of the web, TV looks like this, but that's not the point. It's a medium whose power is growing (you're reading this, aren't you?), and it's important to use it properly.
Coors still has plenty of time to do this right, but it's a little worrisome that he hasn't done so yet.
Cross-Posted at Salazar v. Coors.