Out of the 60-70 candidates or so this year, I could only find seven candidate websites. If there are more, please add them to the comments section of this post and I will add them.
In this world, if you are not on the Internet, you do not exist. When people want information on anything, the first thing they do is look it up on the Internet. Most people "google" it.
In politics, the winner is the candidate who is able to best connect with the voters. In Saipan that connection is molested by our familial relationships, but with three Sablans running in Precinct 1 this year, how does the Sablan family decide who to vote for?
A candidate is crazy not to have a website these days, especially considering the number of young voters and off island voters. In contests where people lose by 6 seats, having a website could give you those few extra votes to push you over the edge.
I'm by no means an expert on anything, but these are my takes on the political websites out there.
Only the ladies have websites in Precint 1. What's up with that, gentlemen?. Cinta Kaipat, Tina Sablan, and Rose Ada Hocog have websites. Cinta Kaipat also has a blog.
Cinta Kaipat has the best website of the three. It is simple, uncluttered, and there are no problems with the html. Unfortunately it hasn't been updated for this election.
Tina and Rose's websites have coding mistakes when viewed in Firefox and many of Rose's pictures are distorted. They should fix that.
Cinta and Tina were smart in using their names for their url. Rose's is a little difficult to remember. It has three names and an initial. Roseada.com would have been better.
Both Cinta and Rose post detailed resumes on their websites, while Tina links to a Superbowl commercial on Youtube to explain her history.
Rose's website says nothing about what she plans to do while in office, other than, "I really can help." Cinta and Tina list what they will do when in office, but don't really get into specifics.
Joe Camacho is the only candidate in Precinct 4 to have a website. Joe has been running for office for almost the entire year. He was up on Mt. Tapachou on Good Friday handing out bottles of water with his name printed on them. I spent most of that afternoon picking up the bottles (and other trash) after the annual pilgrimage.
Joe has some widgets that the other candidates don't have. You can donate to his campaign from his website. It has downloads and information on the recent redistricting fiasco. It has a calendar and an easy way to help spread the word about his candidacy. He also has his very own logo.
That's cool. I wonder if he has his own theme song, too?
Some of the pictures are distorted, though. He should fix that.
Fred deleon Guerrero is the lone candidate in Precinct 5 with a website. Fred also has a blog, which barely deserves mention because it only has three posts in the last month.
The url of Fred's campaign website is ridiculous. Imagine having to give this out at a campaign event. Imagine me talking in Fred's voice:
And if you want more information on my campaign, please visit fred dot deleon guerrero dot google pages dot com. Did you get that? No, that's a dot between fred and deleon, not a dash. Yes, google pages, not blogspot. Yankees suck.Fred, for $8 you can reserve something like voteforfred.com or electdlg.com and have it redirect to your googlepage. I can walk you through it for a six pack of beer.
Two Senate candidates have websites, Clyde Norita and Luis Crisostimo.
Not only does Luis have the most ridiculous website url the political world has ever seen, but he has his picture taken in front of a picture of George W. Bush. You were a Democrat for Christ's sake! No wonder they dumped you!
The websites for both candidates are very simple, with no bells and whistles.
I should mention that Clyde forgot to provide contact information for his campaign.
Board of Education
Although not a campaign website, Board of Education candidate Galvin Guerrero has a blog. I'm commenting on websites, not blogs, but kudos to him for putting a link to his blog in the advertising space he purchased in the newspaper.
Kudos to all of these candidates for using the Internet to get their message out. In addition to websites, several of the candidates are using Myspace and blogs. Good for them. If they really want to reach more people they should also look into Youtube and Facebook. In two years there will probably be other social networking websites that will help you get elected, too.
I expect that the Internet will play a much greater role in the 2009 election. The candidates with websites now are already two steps ahead. They are positioning themselves ahead of their competition.