"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!"
-Homer J. Simpson

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

New Sask NDP Website

So the Sask NDP website (after much delay) has finally launched. You can take a look at it here:

The party has been kind enough to send out some promotional screen shots that bloggers like me can use to profile some of the new features of the site. I am going to focus on the three that interest me the most.

1) First up: Facebook.

The Sask NDP have apparently bought into facebook in a big way. Not only does the Premier have a page on facebook but there is also an application for receiving the Commonwire Newsletter on facebook. Not sure how many people will sign up for something like that but it nice of them to provide it.

It is interesting to see that the Party is getting into social networking. I'm still not convinced that this is a great value add but then again I don't really "get" the whole facebook thing, I log on once every three months or so.

2) RSS Feeds

As a blogger I know how valuable these things are.

It is good to see that the party is using the tools of the "web 2.o" (another term that I hate) but if people are anything like me, your rss aggregator is better than your morning newspaper.

3) YouTube

It was a given that the new web site would have video on it (you can't have a political website without video these days) but it is interesting to see them integrate YouTube as much as they have.

In fact, the entire Premier's video bio section is done via YouTube. They obviously could have chosen to have those videos simply play on their own site, (like the intro on the first page) but instead they have made them public for the whole world to use on blogs and other places (no comments, however).

Is this a sign that the Sask NDP is "getting" the new web?

Or is is just a "me too" thing?

I'm inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. They could have just put up facebook accounts without integrating them into the new web site and they could have just had flash video of their own playing on the site (and in fact they do) but the fact that they are trying to reach out and engage people tells me that, however slightly, they are starting to adapt to the Internet and the way things work here.

The true test will be to see how their forums work out:

I am kind of surprised that they are willing to take the risk of forums. But it has the potential to pay off in a big way if nurtured and used properly.

Also the fact that they are reaching out to bloggers with this information is a good thing - it shows that they are taking us a bit more seriously than any political party has done in the psat (with the possible exception of the Federal Conservatives)