This really annoys me.
One month to the election, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at the Broward County Democratic Executive Committee website. Until recently, it hadn’t been updated since July. Then somebody posted a tiny item with a link to the AM 940 website — I guess because chairman Mitch Caesar was on the Jim DeFede show the other day. But if you want information on when the DEC is meeting next, let alone information on what the DEC is doing to get out the vote, you’re out of luck. They apparently want you to call for that info, although when I tried that, the call was not returned.
This isn’t even a criticism of the DEC organization, not really. I’m sure there are many fine DEC members who were involved in politics when I was in grade school, and no doubt I could learn a lot from them. This is a criticism about marketing and communication — about letting people know about the Democratic party, how to connect with it, and how to support it.
The DEC website hasn’t sucked this bad since shortly after the Kerry election. If you went to the DEC website in January 2005, you saw nothing but painfully outdated messages about gearing up for the November election. That was a big part of my inspiration to try to do something better and provide current information for Broward Democrats.
Then, for a while, the DEC website got a lot better. In addition to a cosmetic overhaul, it got a blog-style front page, making it relatively easy for someone in the office to post updates, rather than having to rely on a more techie webmaster to do it for them. But lately no one seems to have bothered.
I’ve posted a more detailed rant against outdated websites here previously, but basically the argument boils down to this: in 2006, an organization or campaign’s presence on the web is its public face. If you let it run down, it’s as if you were trying to run a business from a dirty, broken-down storefront.
Obviously, I’m more web obsessed than most people. But, you know, this Internet thing just might have some legs, might be around for a while. If you want the Google/YouTube/MySpace generation to take Democrats seriously, you ought to get the hang of it.