Over the last couple of weeks The StarPhoenix has been running profiles of declared candidates for Ward 3’s by-election. As I read the profile, the first thing I do is Google each candidate to find out more. Unlike other by-elections, in this one there isn’t a single website to be found which can’t be good. So much for defining yourself before your opponent or Dave Hutton can.
My suggestion to any of the candidates is just before you file your papers with City Hall, do one of two things.
- Register a domain name and put up a quick one page bio and submit it to be crawled by Google and Bing. Ainsley Robertson* put together a great looking campaign website using Squarespace.
- Another solution would be to take 10 minutes and create a page with About.me. It’s free and if you chose to use Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or any number of online services later. You get a URL that is friendly. Mine is about.me/jordoncooper. It took me 10 minutes to create. There is adequate space to add a bio, it’s easy to create and change, and if your campaign takes off, millions of dollars come in, and you are able to create a political movement with your new and improved website, about.me will work with that as well.
I can’t see someone winning a local campaign without an established name or a great web campaign, especially with a short writ and no party support (as you would have in federal and provincial by-elections). While I don’t know how to calculate campaign ROI, an investment of 30 minute and $10 seems to be a good one.
* I am going to assume that by leaving her campaign website online and active, Robertson is going to be running in Ward 5 in 2012.