1. There were no problems accessing the general content of the site. I did not have to log on through Facebook, provide my personal or online information, and I was not asked to donate, at least to read the general information of the parties, the blog or any extra information on the US. There were options to log in and be a member, and to donate, but they were not mandatory to enter the site.
2. The website www.democrats.org is about one of the two national parties of the United States, the Democrats. The website is meant for anyone and everyone interested in getting to know the Democrats. It is for genders, all ages, and all ethnicities (Democrats.org).
On the main page, there are links to other pages as well as descriptions for some major features pertaining to the elections, e.g. Polling place locator, ‘commit to vote; etc. I believe the theme changes from time to time, and at this time, it was about elections. There were six features when I visited the site, and they were all pertaining to the elections.
It has information about the party, i.e. what it stands for and its manifesto and its history- when it was founded and what its major achievements and areas of struggle have been. The famous leaders (current) belonging to this party and any individuals worthy of being mentioned the more popular and distinguished democrats living in your state (if you are currently residing in the US). There are also peripheral sources of information like press releases, information of suppliers as well as for potential suppliers. There are also job opportunities and internships advertised here in case anyone is looking to work for the party. Overall, the website is optimized for use in social media. There are links to the facebook page as well as twitter, and any feed coming from these forums are immediately fed to the respective page. There are also examples of famous or noteworthy tweets and blogs published at the end of every page (Democrats.org).
There is also a section for the different classes of people living in the US, based on ethnicities, genders, age groups, sexual orientation, professional standing, faith, and location. In this section, the party explains what their class means to them and how the party is working to facilitate them in terms of their lifestyle as well as any issues the community might be facing. In this section, major milestones as well as press events are also shown on the right pane showing any developments or achievements the party has had in the recent times.
In another section, there are issues of the party’s focus are discussed, e.g. civil rights, immigration reform, jobs and the economy, education, etc. Then there is a section on Elections where they have talked about the Voter Expansion project, the Voting Rights Institute and the National Lawyer’s Council. There is a section for blogs too, wherein blogs pertaining to the party are published on a regular basis. You can join and be a member of the website to get regular news and updates pertaining to the party. There is a section in the website where a member can contribute donation to site for the campaigns and other multiple efforts. In the end, there is an option wherein you provide your email and zip code, and the website can send you updates about your area with respect to the democratic activities happening there (Democrats.org).
The website www.gop.com also had almost the same type of content, only personalized for the Republicans. The layout is slightly harder to navigate as all the main options are listed at the bottom of the page rather than the top, as opposed to the Democrats’ website. There was a small menu on the extreme right that said ‘menu' and had shortcuts to some of the features, but again, it was hard to locate (gop.com). There was, however, the search bar to help with site navigation.
The website is for all age groups, genders, and ethnic backgrounds. Additional features included updates on certain current affairs. These updates were in terms of surveys petitions and merchandise that the republicans have been developing for the use of the people as well as using them as a tool to show their solidarity. The ‘Issues' section also have videos, something that was lacking in the Democrat's website. There is a section in the website members can volunteer to work with the Republicans for respective states.
The website is optimized for social media (Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest). There are options for sharing across all pages. You could also sign in using your email or Facebook account if you wish to be a member (gop.com).
3. I chose Jobs and the Economy as the issue. The Democrats used data as well as news of notable efforts and developments the party is making in that particular issue.The Republicans had videos, blogs, press releases and any research pertaining to this area filtered and made available on the page. The videos were informative but boring. They did feature average citizens in conversation with party officials of the Democrats. All the videos pertaining to jobs and economy were against the Democrats and highly critical of their progress. They did not focus much on the Republican stance on the issue – only some text at the beginning of the page talked about that.
- Does the related site/blog, introduce practical or realistic ideas that the President could enact? Why or why not? In what ways? Be sure to explain what you mean by practical or realistic.
The blog I read was from huffingtonpost.com. It featured Harry Reid, the Senate Majority leader about how the party needs to win Iowa. He also poked fun at the opposition candidate Joni Erst, who refused to meet with editorial boards of several Iowa's newspapers. The blog also talked about Ernst's stance who said she did not meet with them because she knew they were against her being a candidate.
This blog did introduce a practical idea, which the President could consider. He could ask his party members to be more receptive and affable towards all mediums of representation, be it the press or the citizens. It was practical because elections are almost there, and if the opposition spots you ignoring an opinion leader, the party might suffer big time.
The means of persuasion were not quite the same as the website. It had a more aggressive tone.
The other blog I read was dailykos.com. It featured eight cops firing 46 shots at a man deemed mentally ill and making a suspicious movement towards them. The man was Milton Hall, and the blog showed a video of the scene. It was pro- Republican and it talked about how practically the situation could have been handled and how the current police force does not think beyond firing shots. It is something the current leadership could work on. The means of persuasion were aggressive and graphic, just like on the GOP website.
I believe this assignment did help shape up my views on both parties, but I would do further research and study the two parties in detail, as well as their achievements. The current content is more competitive than progressive. I would need to know what direction each party is headed to in my area of interest, rather than criticizing the opposition at best. It is okay if you share portions of my paper with a full class.
“Democrats.org.” DNC Services Corporation. N.p., 2014. Web. 3 Nov. 2014.
“Www.gop.com.” Republican National Committe. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Nov. 2014.