By Nardo Kuitert, U-C WEBS
[Published in The Wellington Advertiser, October 2010 for the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce]
Back in 2003 I wrote 2 articles about elections websites. The first one was for the California Recall Elections, the one that got Governator Aaaahhnold elected, and the second one for the Ontario Election. In both cases the candidate with the best website won… Websites can have a major impact regardless of what story you want to tell, or cause you want to promote. Websites are customer-based; consumers of Internet information choose which information to consume, when they are going to consume it and what type of actions they will take based on what they learned on a website – or Facebook page, Twitter page, online forum…
New municipal, county and school board elections are coming up soon. And yes, even on a local level people will be researching their candidates on the web.
With this in mind, the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce has created an electronic Town Hall Meeting on its website cwchamber.ca. An online Q&A section where voters can ask candidates their questions and candidates can answer them. Voters can review the answers, compare the answers from different candidates or look at the bios and election platforms of the candidates. Hopefully this will help the people of Centre Wellington decide who to vote for. Maybe some long-time disenfranchised people will get more engaged, and decide to vote again this time around!
I am sure that this Chamber initiative (www.cwchamber.ca/townhallmeeting) will not be the only online elections arena. Political candidates of today (and their campaign managers) will certainly use the Internet to their advantage- with their own websites, commenting on online media, and engaging people with their Facebook and Twitter pages.
Or will they…?
There are still a few months to go. So candidates – get your online campaigns going, so that the people can figure out who to vote for. Or at least be actively involved in the Chamber’s electronic Town Hall Meeting.
Nardo Kuitert is an Internet Consultant with Fergus Website Development and Optimization firm U-C WEBS (www.u-cwebs.com). U-C WEBS also offers Internet advertising opportunities on www.ferguspages.com. (link opens in a new window)
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