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Avert your eyes! Kathleen Ford’s website is up

in Peter/The Bay and the 'Burg by
Kathleen Ford’s campaign website is now up and running, almost a month after she filed her paperwork to run for St. Petersburg Mayor. It isn’t the roogoodoo that Bill Foster’s site is, but it’s pretty bad, even by political website standards. How do I hate thee, let me count the ways:

The header is generic, with cut-and-paste Americana bunting and a campaign pin that reads “Ford ’09.”

The top left of the site is dominated with icons that link to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. This is the problem with social networking in politics. You have a website that links to Facebook that does or does not have the material that should be on your website. It’s an online political Ponzi scheme. And, in Ford’s website’s case, the social networking buttons look like they have been lifted directly from Scott Wagman’s superior site.

The rest of the front page is written in what appears to be a blogging script. Blogging is blogging and a website is a website. They need to be integrated, not hammered together like old wood.

The navigation on the site doesn’t always work. For example, if you click on what would be considered a volunteer page, it isn’t clear how to get back to the rest of the website.

There is a feature about adding a social networking badge, as if Kathleen Ford’s picture is what you want to advertise about yourself on your own page.

I could go on, but I will spare you the rest of the details and invite you to take a look at yet another poorly done political website. First, it was Foster’s, now it’s Ford’s. Remember that article about the mayoral candidates being web savvy…that was written before those two got into the race.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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