I've spent the morning, perusing the RNC (www.gop.com) website and I find it:
c) A Waste of Our Party Funds
I know there are websites out there that can generate traffic: Hot Air, Andrew Breitbart's list of sites (Big Government, Big Hollywood, Big Journalism), RedState., etc. I could go on and on.
Obviously a lot of money has gone into the design of GOP.com and ability for the reader to become an active part of the experience. The problem is, It is TOO DAMN COMPLICATED. It is all over the place and the reader has to hunt for any meaningful content (of which there is very little).
If you want to have a site that encourages donations, then I suggest you make it into a site that really accomplishes something. You need to turn it into:
a) A source of breaking news. Set up site feeds from Online News Sources and regularly update hot stories as they happen. If a Cruise Liner is swallowed up in the Caribbean by a Giant Squid, then link to the story. People want to be entertained as well as informed. Make the first page like an online newspaper with links to headline stories and online pundits. Grab your audience with a headlines and make them click and read.
b) Have a roster of qualified, literate pundits that comment and update daily on your site: Set aside a box on the web page to link to the latest posts by your bloggers. I am talking officially hired and sanctioned Bloggers that work for the RNC and are willing to take the Democrats AND THE MSM head-on. Here is where you go for the Jugular. Take on the Daily KOS kids, the DNC and the not-so-bright MSM (Come on, does ANYONE in their right mind think Katie Couric is a force to be reckoned with in a battle of wits?). The base wants their party willing to take one the left, head-on. This is where you do it.
c) Support your private Conservative Bloggers: You should have someone on the RNC staff reading all the prominent (and not so prominent) conservative/Republican Bloggers and subject matter experts. When they see a good article written by one: LINK TO IT AND LET PEOPLE KNOW IT IS WORTH READING. That means reading people who Blog on your site as well. READ WHAT PEOPLE ARE WRITING ON YOUR OWN SITE. See a good piece, then link to it and encourage the talent that uses your platform to blog.
d) The Party needs to get its head out of its ass and start publishing online what they would do different than the Democrats if put in charge. I am not talking promising the Moon, but honest straight forward information on Energy Independence, Health Care, the Economy, Deficit and Foreign Policy. Use your subject matter experts in Congress. Example: Paul Ryan has become a superstar with his superb grasp of the healthcare issue. USE HIM....
e) Link to the Local State Party Websites. I am trying to convince my state party GOP to adopt this approach as well. Imagine a national GOP Newspaper with links to 50 state specific GOP newspapers. The end result would be a legitimate website that delivers straight news, biting commentary and expounds on the solutions that the GOP has for the challenges that face our nation and states. Make it a party newspaper and challenge the MSM online.
f) DON"T BE AFRAID TO HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR AS WELL! When Maureen Dowd writes something stupid (which WILL happen), have at it, ridicule her to pieces. Same goes for Frank Rich and any other card carrying members of the Loony Left.
Make it so that when people get up in the morning they first click on GOP.com for the latest news and right before their eyes, is a professional online newspaer with straight news with headlines and links to World and National news, as well as cutting edge punditry.
Keep updating it as the day progresses and the reader will continue to click on the site get their news throughout the day. Point them to the brightest and best the GOP and conservative online presence has. Send them to a good articles on RedState or Foxnews; link to National Review when "The Corner" has a good post or to the Weekly Standard blogs when they nail the Democrats. In addition, on the same page where the readers get their news and pundit fix, they get a Republican take on the main issues of the day and they see, right before their eyes, the GOP challenging the Democrats and the MSM when they twist the facts. Couple that with a link to the reader's home state GOP site (that is taking on state specific issues) and you are cutting into audience of the liberal press across the nation.
The Main Stream Media will raise hell about this. LET THEM. It is adapt or die, survival of the fittest, build the better mousetrap,.etc. They are failing their audience and because of this they are dying, especially the Deadwood press and national newscasts. It is a brave new online world out there... And the GOP can do SO MUCH better that this abortion of an online site they have.
Best of all, in the great scheme of things, this effort is inexpensive compared to buying TV ads when campaigning, but it is a superb way to inform the voter and get our message out. Remember, Money can only buy you air time but good ideas and solutions to America's problems are priceless.
So GOP.com, it is time to reinvent yourself, AGAIN. What you got now IS NOT WORKING. Time to change the rules and adapt to the new now. It is, in the end, what we Americans are all about. Freedom of speech. Use it or lose it.