As many of you know I often write about the WordPress engine and am a huge WordPress advocate. MusTech.Netis based on the WordPress engine. The following post while not specifically about Music Technology or Music Education has many thoughts that can be transferred to many other avenues of thought.
I’m currently involved as the Information Advisor for a PA District Judge election and campaign in PA. This amounts to gathering, creating, controlling, and releasing information through channels like a website. Although I’ve used NetObjects, FrontPage, and other Web Site builders in the past for similar site projects, I am more convinced now than ever before about the positive viability (or in my case, exclusivity) of WordPress as political website platform for dispersing, utilizing, and controlling information.
Why is WordPress my preferred choice for this platform?
- WordPress easily functions as a content management system (CMS)
- WordPress easily allows for multiple faces:
- A Public Face as a website (Public Front-End)
- A Public Face as a RSS/ATOM feed (Public Front-End)
- A Private Face as a website (Private Front-End)
- Through the use of passwords, private pages, the ability to easily use no-follows, and file and directory locks (granted- some advanced efforts may be needed to completely secure items you may not want exposed)
- An easy to use interFace for the web designer (Back-End)
- An easy to use limited interFace for content contributors (Back-End)
- The ability to easily integrate forums and multiple static and dynamic pages (the blog).
- The viral nature of the Web 2.0 platform embodied in WordPress
- Multiple sharing avenues
- Multiple collaborative avenues
- Easy integration with/to other Web 2.0 platforms
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- The very nature of WordPress makes it very easy for search engines to follow and glean information for their databases (a major goal of campaign sites – either local or national in level)
- Additional SEO strategies are easily implemented
- Plugin support makes it easy to do/add almost anything imaginable
- Almost any plugin that would be useful for a campaign site -most likely, has already been created for another purpose and is easily found and implemented
- Plugin support is found both on the WordPress.org site and most of the plugin authors are extremely good and supporting their products with their own support pages
- Themes are easily found, made, and altered
- Ready to use themes are easily found
- Theme customization is simple
- Many companies will make and customize themes for you and it does not take much time to learn how to change existing templates
- WordPress is a free to use GPL licensed product (General Public License)
- Any derivative work of the WordPress codebase (including WordPress) must be made available for free (and user editable). Regardless of what licensing is applied to any code derivative that depends on WordPress for it’s functioning, it is a still WordPress dependant and must by license -therefore be free.
- What some great theme and plugin developers have begun to do is to offer money-supported plugins and themes… this allows them to be able to make money for their efforts and to sustain their cottage-industry efforts (and valued contributions) that are based on WordPress.
The end result of using the WordPress engine or platform for use with a political campaign is that the usability and scalability of the program is perfectly suited for the variety of needs of a Campaign website. I’ve written about this before, but it is worth writing about again, the integrated BACK-END features of WordPress are one of the “KEYS” to making the WordPress engine so successful. Even those without any coding experience whatsoever, can have a relatively beautiful and functioning site in “no time at all”.
The viral nature of a Web 2.0 site is another great reason that WordPress is so well suited for the public “eye” with regard to a campaign. If the best way of getting voters to know about your candidate is through peer-to-peer conversation and media outlets, then the abilities to “share” your candidate’s information through RSS feeds, FaceBook, MySpace, hundreds of social-bookmarking services, and simple-email (either automated subscriptions or manually) then the dynamic nature of WordPress only makes sense; especially, given the ease-of-use and scalability features I wrote about earlier.
To see the example of my current WordPress campain site please visit http://votenesbit.com. I would encourage any constructive thoughts and comments about what other things that could contribute to a successful campaign using WordPress to be written here at MusTech.Net in the comment section below.
One word about the educational concept of “transference”… anything that I spoke of here with regard to the viability of using WordPress in a campaign (whether as a democrat, republican, independent, or whatever), are also good and viable reasons to use it for virtually any other avenue. Think about it…
That is a wonderfully simple, clean candidate site! Would you mind divulging which WP template you used to create it? I’m also interested in knowing which plugins you think are good for such a site – for example, is there a plugin for getting donations/contributions information or linking? You can guess I’m new at looking at wp as a political candidate tool but I think that for many local races (city council etc) what you’re saying makes a ton of sense.
Any direction would be greatly appreciated!
Great post. I completely agree that WordPress is an amazing platform for political candidates, and post often about using it effectively on Killer Campaigning.
Now, if someone would just design a great political campaign donation plugin for WordPress . . .