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Inside Web White & Blue: An online public service model Presentation by Steven Clift WWB Project Coordinator

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Presentation on theme: "Inside Web White & Blue: An online public service model Presentation by Steven Clift WWB Project Coordinator"— Presentation transcript:

1 Inside Web White & Blue: An online public service model Presentation by Steven Clift WWB Project Coordinator

2 Overview Web View Purpose and Quick Facts Internet and Politics Community Online Public Service WWB Site Recruitment How it worked Content Links User Survey Site Statistics Public Comments Lessons Questions to Consider Conclusion Stay in Touch

3 Web View

4 Purpose and Quick Facts Purpose –An online public service campaign for easy access to 1998 election information. Online –http://www.webwhite blue.org Quick Facts –1300+ Participating Sites –80 important charter Participating Sites –WWB Day on October 7 –Extensive Press –Estimated one-half million users Oct. 7 - Nov. 4

5 Internet and Politics Community Pre-1998 Govern. Online News Political Parties Major Portals Interest Groups Academic Research. Political Online Consult Candidates Political Portals Civic Non-Profits Jumble of politics online practitioners and experts with informal connections especially between DC consultants and candidates, political parties, and interest groups.

6 Online Public Service Net Era Principles for Community Efforts –1. Provide balanced presentation to end users –2. Complement other's work, avoid duplication and extensive content development –3. Promote others work toward public goals through directories, dont compete as a destination site –4. Enhance other's return on content development through icon efforts, banners ads, and other efforts –5. Enable cooperation while raising competition level –6. Host important events or items that would not happen otherwise –7. Focus on core mission and realistic expectations

7 Internet and Politics Community Post-1998 Goal Formal/Informal connections through WWB and other efforts. Govern. Online News Political Parties Major Portals Interest Groups Academic Research. Political Online Consult Candidates Political Portals Civic Non-Profits Cross-sector connections and awareness within politics online community growing and expanding. Still very informal and concentrated in few locations. Challenge is to move from the jumble toward sustained relationships on a more nation-wide basis

8 WWB Site Recruitment Shorenstein Internet and Politics June session participants Markle Foundation approached July Site recruitment for major sites August 15 - September 15 Time crunch Charter sites legitimized post- Sept. 10 general recruitment Over 1200 sites signed up via web Sites downloaded icon for Oct 7 WWB Day and kept up through election

9 How it worked 1. Extensive online and offline outreach brought people to recruitment site. 2. Web site provided full details on the project. See the About section. 3. Participating Sites filled out web form and joined e-list. 4. Sites placed icon with link to WWB on their site. 5. Some sites ran WWB banner ads. 6. Icons were up Oct 7 WWB Day through election.

10 Content Links Process –Survey of Internet and Politics contacts about 100+ sites –Development of internal content link policy –Careful review –Non-profit site focus –Commercial sites were charter Participating Sites Challenges –Legal issues with foundation and voter registration –No direct links to parties, advocacy, candidate or voter sites geared toward an issue or audience –Fair and objective presentation key –Next time...

11 User Survey Preliminary highlights –1000 volunteered responses –Asked the right questions, but need to compare with scientific surveys of the general population and Internet users –81% respondents said first time they used Net for election information –Users were very pleased with WWB site –Why they visited? Political interests 41%, seeking election information 25%, just browsing 19%...

12 User Survey Highlights continued –Election sites in general - quite or extremely: Useful 77%, Informative 93%, Trustworthy 76% –How they discovered WWB? Icons 30%, banner ads 18%, online news 18%, offline means 22% –Internet was the primary election media source for for 21%, second source for 27% –64% expect the Internet to be their primary media source for election information in 2000 –Most have used the Internet to express a political opinion (polls, , newsgroups, web, chat)

13 WWB Site Statistics Site traffic –500,000 accesses on home page to Nov 4 –110,000 on October 7 WWB Day –Your State most popular with 140,000 accesses –7,800+ joined announcement list Content Traffic Out –Your State non-profit links benefited most –Election Results directory popular –Some reported strong increase, others sent more traffic than returned –Description and navigation needs

14 Positive Comments –An excellent way to help people become more informed voters. –I was overjoyed to see a compilation of election info in one neat place! –This is what IT is all about. Please keep it up!!! Getting in touch with our government is too old, too slow, enraging to most citizens. I will all I know with this site. –To be able to link to all the pertinent topics from one site without doing an interminable search is a great idea! –The concept of Web White & Blue would seem to open the door of politics to the general public primarily because of convenience regarding time and place of participation. Public Comments

15 Balance Extremely Important –The public needs a reliable, non-partisan source of info, and hopefully, this will be that source. –"Long over due. Please do not become biased in your opinions like the print and televised media has done. –"You need a BALANCED perspective. Your sources are pro- leftist. –" Much of the information is Republican only … opinions are conservative and right-wing. –"I found many of the linked sites to be biased to one political side of an issue.

16 Lessons People want a neutral democracy portal(s) People want interaction, future directory challenge Geography matters WWB Day specifically and the icon awareness online public service concept worked Extensive outreach required to generate online traffic Promoting others content and avoiding competition with others was essential to success Major commercial and non-profit site participation essential, need to deepen all participation, especially government election sites and high traffic non- political/news sites

17 Questions to Consider What about 2000? Where do we go next? What can be done as the politics online community that would not happen otherwise? What should WWB or community efforts NOT do? How do we leverage election interest into ongoing online citizen participation?

18 Conclusion Lets not wait until late in 2000 to start online public service election efforts. The Markle Foundation is actively reviewing options and encourages to your input and suggestions. Thank you for your participation in 1998!

19 Stay in touch Visit us on the web: – – Join our announcement list: –Send to: –Message body: sub wwb-announce

20 Get Connected Join Democracies Online Newswire: –Send to: –Message body: sub do-wire Your Name Archive from: –http://www.e-democracy.org/do (An independently moderated list with 500 democracy online leaders from around the world. Moderated by Steven Clift, WWB Project Coordinator)


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