December 22, 2003 | Graham

Two days, 19 hours and 54 minutes

That’s the time it takes to get a response from the National Party’s dobber site based on an entirely unrepresentative sample of one. Given that the two days were the weekend, I think that’s more than satisfactory. [In fact, since originally posting I found a message on my work message bank from Andrew Bibb only a couple of hours after my test, so their performance is closer to “excellent” rather than “more than satisfactory” GY 23/12/03.] This is the result of the real world experiment that I announced in my last post . The purpose was to find out how seriously committed to this site the Nationals are by submitting their online response form with a suggestion that they ring me to discuss. That was Friday afternoon at 12:11 p.m. This morning at 8:05 a.m. my youngest daughter, Sophia handed the phone across the breakfast table. “It’s Roger someone…”. It was – Roger Harcourt, the National Party State Director.
There was a reason for me running this experiment. Over the years I have subscribed to email alerts from a variety of political sites and the only ones to have subsequently sent me anything were the Federal Labor Party. That’s if you don’t count the Victorian Libs who mysteriously send me material even though I didn’t ever ask for it. I blame my old friend Victor Perton for this, however will retract if I am wrong! Besides, theirs is a very professional e-newsletter, and as a political party they are exempt from the new spamming laws that the government will proclaim early in the New Year (more of that in a later post).
I’m not the only one to have noticed this lack of commitment from political parties to their sites. Peter Spearritt will give you a well-rehearsed ad hominem homily on the subject if you ever meet him. I also heard ABC radio presenter Helen Razer complaining about exactly the same thing after the last federal election. It appears that while many political parties feel they need to be in the new media, they don’t understand that a website is not an artifact, it is a process, and it needs to be integrated into your other activities and properly resourced. Better no website than one that won’t talk back.
Roger Harcourt tells me that the site has already generated responses. This doesn’t answer my question “Why would you use this site?” but it does suggest I need to do further research. So, if you know any retired engineers or janitors with an obsession for cleanliness, godliness and stamping out government waste, send them this link – it could be the best present you’ve ever given them for Christmas.

Posted by Graham at 8:49 am | Comments Off on Two days, 19 hours and 54 minutes |
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