Tag Archives: prater raines

New campaign buttons up and running on Prater Raines and MyCouncillor sites

Thanks to the kind efforts of Tim Pickstone and colleagues at ALDC and Tim Prater and co. at Prater Raines, the newly revived Liberal Democrat campaign buttons have now been tested successfully on websites run using their own systems.

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment

Revamp for Prater Raines sites

An email arrives from web guru and Lib Dem county councillor Tim Prater, who is the public-facing half of Prater Raines, the hugely successful company that now supply local websites to a large proportion of the nation’s Liberal Democrat local parties, council groups and MPs. (The full, awesome list, from Aberconwy to Yorkshire and the Humber is here). It’s no small boast that they probably run more political websites than anyone else in the country.

They have a good track record of innovating and keeping content going online. But things have changed in the seven years since they first started to provide their content management system to the party, and they are now proposing a major upgrade to the service they offer.

Posted in News and Online politics | 2 Comments

Liberal Democrat Voice says, the party acts…

In May Liberal Democrat Voice carried a piece from Lynne Featherstone about the lessons from May’s elections, in which she laid out five challenges for the party including,

We should ensure that we have at least a modest local internet presence covering every part of the country, helping point the public at more news about the party, how to join, how to get in touch with the local team etc. With the number of existing sources of news and information about the Liberal Democrats, I am sure it can’t be beyond the wit of a clever programmer or two to be able to put together an effective mini-site system that covers our internet black holes at a minimum of cost and effort.

A few days ago the following email went out to local parties:

 We have agreed a deal to put in place a local website for every party of the country which does not have its own local Liberal Democrat website.

This deal, with Prater Raines Ltd , will mean that wherever someone lives in the country, they can find the Liberal Democrats easily on the internet and get informed and involved. It will also mean that the party’s campaign buttons and films are much more widely publicised around the internet.

Where a local party does not have a website (e.g. because it is very small and has not been able to afford one or find a suitable volunteer) this deal will ensure that there is a simple, professional looking site. It will contain relevant local contact details, as used currently on www.libdems.org.uk, along with up to date news about the party and its campaigns.The party will also provide an appropriate local web address for each of these sites that can be used in any local activity to help promote it.

Posted in Online politics | 4 Comments

Living up to the “wired” reputation

A few years ago, we in the Lib Dems were billing ourselves as Britain’s most wired political party – I remember all too well because I had to watch my typing very carefully or risk printing tens of thousands of leaflets calling us Britain’s most weird political party.

Our netted reputation is going from strength to strength.

First, Lib Dem MP Steve Webb, himself no stranger to the internet, caused a stir by showing Lib Dem MPs were better represented on Facebook than those from other political parties.

Then, just a few posts ago, Mark Pack demonstrated our MPs have a …

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged | 2 Comments

GLA candidates websites reviewed and rated

GLA site

Soon, members across London will select their candidates to run for election to the Greater London Assembly. Most of the selection campaign e-mails from candidates have included a link to a standalone selection website, which has been approved in advance for publication by the Returning Officer.

As a London-based member who will have a vote, but hasn’t yet decided whether to exercise it, let alone whom to excercise it for, I decided to put the candidate’s websites head to head. At the end of the post, in the interests of fairness, a full list of candidates appears. If I’ve missed off a candidate’s website, please let me know.

What criteria did you use to assess the sites?

Candidates scored big points for:

  • Having a manifesto that was easy to find and digest
  • A website that was well structured and easy to navigate
  • Meeting disabled accessibility and good coding standards (don’t worry if you don’t understand these tests in the review – failed is bad, passed is good).

Bonus points were received for e-campaigning wizardry such as blogs, online video etc. It’s important to note that candidates did not score points for having a website that was bigger than their rivals. In my estimation quality is more important than quantity – the goal of these sites is to win votes, not rival War & Peace.

The majority of sites were reviewed on 17 April. Ajmal Masroor and James Allie were reviewed on 21 April. By this point the selection campaign was well underway, and in my judgement, the sites should have been fully ready to be public. The sites are listed in descending order, the joint ‘winners’ first. Where two sites have a joint score, or no score, the sites are listed in alphabetical order by candidate surname.

Note: this review is a review of the candidate’s ability to put a website together. It’s up to you to decide how important that skill is when you come to cast your vote, so I wouldn’t obsess too much about ‘your candidate’ coming top or bottom of this review.

I’m a candidate, or I built a candidate’s website, and I think you’ve been unfair, what can I do?

I suggest you leave a comment underneath the post, and I’ll reply there too – so if your site is marked up or down for any reason, the rationale for doing so is immediately made public.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 38 Comments

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