I ask this question over and over again:
“Why do Republicans consistently not get technology and cede the advantage to the Democrats?”
Case in point: Sean Bielat.
Sean ran against Barney Frank in 2010 with one of the worst websites I have ever seen. How is it you can raise $2 million and have a website that is worse than what you can get for $24 per month? I think the reason was that he had “The Prosper Group” do it and they handled the awful website that Scott Brown used in his 2010 special election campaign. (The fact that Brown won shows that tech isn’t everything I guess!)
This time looks no better. Bielat announced in January and had the same bad website. He didn’t even update it! It still mentioned Barney Frank. To this day, it is still the same awful site. So.. when Sean finally got the Boston Globe to write a great in-depth piece about him, the audience would then head to that site? Ugh. (And nevermind that The Globe says that Sean has spent the past year working for a web startup? How does someone in the high-tech world tolerate such a bad website? What the @!#&?)
In contrast, the moment Joe Kennedy III decided to explore the race, he had a beautiful but simple site up immediately where you could donate. By the time he officially announced, he had a super-slick wordpress site up and running. Very professional. (It’s as good as Tisei’s wordpess site.)
Now neither Sean nor Joe are doing much on Facebook (no custom apps, nothing special, neither have moved to Timeline) so maybe the Bielat campaign will do something there. (Yes, Beilat has been very good on Twitter in the past.)
Ultimately, Sean is the underdog again. If he is going to win, which I really hope he does, he has got to not only match Kennedy on the web, he must blow right past him. He’s got the following choices:
1. Go for the now-standard-Rob-Willington-Wordpress-suite site.
2. Emulate Jeff Semon and do the NationBuilder thing.
3. Go for another standard platform (Drupal or Squarespace).
4. Take big risks and do a very slick all-custom job like Professor Warrren.
And after he does that, he then needs to go crazy with social media – doing stuff no one else is doing such as mapping, location, volunteer management, and much, much more.
But whatever he is going to do, he’s got to do it very fast. There are Republicans running for Congress who have shown how to do it right, such as Tisei and Semon. Sean has got to emulate them.