Thursday, September 21, 2006

What a difference a website makes

What does a website say about a candidate? What makes a candidate's website good or bad? And given that San Jose is the capital of Silicon Valley, shouldn't our candidates have websites that show the world that they understand what Silicon Valley is about? Also, please remember that this post is about the candidate's websites, not about the specific campaign issues.

In San Jose we have two candidates for mayor: Cindy Chavez and Chuck Reed, both of whom have websites. While both sites have links to the candidates stand on issues, press releases and of course contributions, a quick look by a voter shows that there are many differences in these websites as well.

So, below for your review, is a comparison of the two websites, complete with grades:

First of all one notices the color choices: Chavez's website has a bright color scheme, yellow and blue, with a rolling banner at the top and a star that glows. Reed's website is somewhat dark and has no dynamic graphics.

Grades for overall theme: Chavez: B Reed: D

Ok, so now that we have gotten past the first page, let's start clicking on a few of the menu options. On the Chavez website we can click through to a list of her endorsements here, on Reed's website, well, there is no list of endorsements.

Grades for endorsement list: Chavez: A Reed: F

Next, let's click on events. You can find Chavez's list here, and Reed's list here. Chavez has an extensive list of formal debates, neighborhood coffee's, and fundraisers. The only events listed on the Reed link are formal debates. Is Reed not holding small gathering of voters? Is he also not holding any fundraisers? Or is he just not posting them?

Grades for events listings: Chavez: A Reed: D

Now we go to the "Newsletter Section," Reed has a link to his weekly newsletters here, and Chavez does not have any newsletters posted on her website (unless I somehow missed the link). While Reed does have his weekly newsletters posted, the last edition was June 26, 2006. Both websites have a form for voters to fill out if they wish to receive weekly emails of the newsletter.

Grades for newsletter link: Chavez: F Reed: C

Now we get to overall use of technology on both websites. Reed has a link to two of his TV ads, and a photo album. Chavez has a podcast, video's of many of her neighborhood meetings, a photo album , an area for both her ads and tv coverage and a way for voters to email friends about Chavez. Neither candidate has a blog, which has been noted in the grading section.

Grades for use of overall use of technology: Chavez: B Reed: D
Both candidates have sections for "issues," Reed calls his the "Reed Reforms," and the links are here and here. Chavez has her issues listed at the top of her website.

Grades for overall issues links and apperence: Chavez: B Reed: C

Now, if we were to do one last grade on the overall look, ease of use, links to help voters, feel and timelyness of both websites, we can check these areas on Reeds website: Voting Record and Reality Check . On Chavez's website there is a link to help voters register, information in Spanish, information in Vietnamese, and a way to buy Cindy Chavez for Mayor Gear .

Grades for overall look, ease of use, links to help voters, feel and timelyness: Chavez: B Reed: D

And now, for the final grade in our candidate website exam:

Chavez: B Reed: D


At 8:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee how original...see comment #24 on:

At 9:14 PM, Anonymous l. fitzy said...

I have to agree. Neither candidate has brought their campaign into the 21st century. They need blogs, they need youtube clips, they need MULTImedia on their sites. The traditional campaign paradigm has changed and neither candidate has caught the wave.

At 9:16 PM, Anonymous concerned dem said...

i don't see what the hell you are talking abt anonymous.

great post SJL.

At 9:25 PM, Blogger SanJoseLady said...

Anonymous....gee, I don't spend my day reading the posts on SJI, have a real life, involved with real politics. And given how you are somewhat challenged when it comes to posting links, maybe you can learn how to do a link, or better yet, maybe you can learn to, cut, paste and put the comment you refer to in a blockquote....then again maybe you can't....

At 9:38 PM, Blogger SanJoseLady said...

I. Fitzy....both websites could use some improvement, my concern though is that of the two,, well horrid.

We are supposed to be the center of technology, of the internet, and Reed has no problem putting up a website that bad? While Cindy's website is not an A, at least there are some good elements to point out, such as links to podcasts. I would love to see text messaging as well from either candidate, and yes, a youtube clip would add some punch.

Blogs...are a huge amount of work for candidates, however I think they add whole new level to a campaign.

At 10:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So... if Cindy gets an A for endorsements, why isn't she endorsing anyone in the District 3 race? Could it be because she supports Manny?

At 1:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow Jacquie "sanjoselady" Heffner! What an unbiased review...

Shouldn't Cindy get a lower grade because she forgot to add you as an endorser?

I guess Chuck got a D for events because you didn't host a neighborhood fundraiser for him.

And why did you give Cindy a B and Chuck a D for technology usage, when Cindy doesn't have a blog other than this unbiased one? I mean after all, you work for Joe Trippi!

Tell us, is it ethical for a city commissioner to blog about her council liaison's campaign?

At 2:45 PM, Blogger SJ Rookie said...

Hey anonymous,

Thanks for the free air play on SJI. ( As usual, we always appreciate increasing our readership.

We did not censor your comments. As you pointed out, our site has been unusually quiet today because...well, some of us have a lot going on in our lives besides the election. We are trying to bring 24/7 coverage but as students, we've got things like papers, midterms, and reading that sometimes interrupt that goal. Enter sanjoselady. A frequent poster and active member of the blogosphere, we at MW felt a guest column would help provide our readers what they've been demanding for weeks: more content. Whether or not SJL = Heffner is beyond us. Nonetheless, we do believe that as NON-CANDIDATES we in the blogosphere should be entitled to anonymity. We believe we have that right. Apparently, so do you judging by the names you use on our site. We respect that right enough that we refuse to call out our critics, like yourself. Our upgraded traffic database gives us your IP address, your network name, your prior and subsequent internet activity, heck, even your latitude and longitude. You'd be really surprised where our comments come from. Nonetheless, we're not going to use that information to "out" you or other posters. We do not want our reader base to dry up. Unless Chuck or Cindy themselves post, we're going to keep that info confidential. So say what you will about SJL. Continue to make ad hom attacks against her if you are confident she is who you say she is. We're going to continue to appreciate her updates because she's going to provide readers with what they want: more information at a faster speed.

In any case, please keep posting. We like the criticism. It keeps us on our toes!

At 5:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even my latitude and longitude? Well then, come on over, I'm having a party tomorrow night.

I'm glad to hear the Santa Clara County Democratic Party respects my privacy. You want my library card number too?

We'd all like to know why Heffner, an elected/appointed official is anonymously blogging about Chuck Reed. I guess we should expect no less from Cindy Chavez.

At 6:53 PM, Blogger Mr. 408 said...


You're cute how you keep assuming this blog is maintained by Cindy Chavez. Keep guessing!

Also, SanJoseLady is not behind this blog. Just a random commentor on our site that we tracked down and asked to help by providing more content to our readers.

Finally, you say "we'd all like to know..." why SJL is blogging anonymously. It doesn't seem like that many people are with you on that one. Painful silence followed your comments on this site and on SJI in your comments going after our guest columnist. I think you're the only one who stayed on our site for 340 straight minutes with about 35 refreshes. (And that's not a joke!)

At 7:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr 408:

Why don't you post all your sitemonitor stats, and we can compare who has the bigger blog. Looks like the anonymous has a point.

At 10:36 AM, Anonymous d.h.k. said...

Anonymous - what are you talking about? You want MW to post more stats "to compare who has the bigger blog"? You have a blog? Please post the link.

As a friend, though, I highly recommend GETTING OUT once in awhile. Your posts pouring in late on a Friday night make me want to recommend a 12-step program for getting over your MW addiction. I mean, I think the site is good too. But please... see a movie, make a friend, go to dinner.

At 3:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Here's a link to my blog...

At 9:41 PM, Anonymous Ben Watson said...

What an amazingly mature comment. I always look forward to your ignorance in the morning. Nothing wakes me up as effectively as reading your garbage. And nothing makes me feel better than knowing that there is a grown man out there who has nothing better to do than look up the websites for Canada's up and coming new pop stars. Keep commenting, nothing inspires me to support Cindy Chavez more than knowing that a vote for Chavez is a vote against you. Have a nice day and keep us updated with the Canadian pop scene!
-Ben Watson

At 12:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At 4:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didnt find thing that i need... :-(


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