February 16, 2009 | Graham


Anna Bligh’s been copping it because she had her website Anna4Qld built by an interstate firm at the same time that the site boosts Bligh’s “plan to protect Queensland jobs”. It’s this sort of parochialism that I hate about Queensland.
It’s a bit hypocritical of her to talk about Queensland jobs while having the site built interstate, but that’s an inconsistency inherent in the nonsense of talking about Queensland jobs when you live in a national and international economy. But where she is really open to criticism is that it is such a hopeless site.
The site pretends to be Web 2.0 when it is so slick and spin-heavy that it shouts “phony”. If you want to criticise it, do so because it is incompetent.
This might have been the company that designed the Kevin 07 website, but it doesn’t look like the same team did it. Kevin 07 was built on open-source content management system Joomla which uses PHP. This site uses .NET, the Microsoft product. The Kevin 07 site was folksy. This site is as folksy as one of those capped-teeth US television ads for hair shampoo. Someone is making a lot of money shooting video with high production values – just the opposite of the shaky cam approach that pays dividends on the ‘net.
The design suggests that graphic, rather than web, designers are the driving force. Little things give this away, like the fact that the title of the web page is “Welcome to my new website!”. (Note the exclamation mark – gotta convey excitement!) What information does this provide? LIke whose website? By contrast all the other web pages currently open in my browser tell me useful things like “On Line Opinion Polling”, “Microsoft .NET Framework”, “On Line Opinion – Administration”. No problems working out what each of them is about, apart from Anna’s.
Then there is the section of the home page that promises “Queenslanders share their ideas for our state’s future” and features this comment. “When times are tough, like at the moment I feel much better knowing that we have a Labor government. They look after the workers & make sure nobody gets left behind… PS my daughter is a huge fan of Anna! Sue, Ebenezer” (There’s that exclamation mark again.) Excuse me, but that is supposed to be an “idea for our state’s future”?
Barack Obama has just taken Internet campaigning to new heights, but you wouldn’t know it looking at Anna’s site. It is brouchureware with a few things tacked on to make it look like it is really interactive. But the interaction smells as phony as the rest of the site.
Our research says that one of the hesitations that Queenslanders have when thinking of voting for Anna Bligh is that she is all spin. This site reinforces that message.
Ironically, the opposition is probably doing better with their web strategy because they aren’t promising as much. Springborg’s site is brochureware, but it doesn’t pretend to be any more. So you actually get some clear messages when you visit his site without any attempt to present them as other people’s independent third party endorsements.
And Springborg is actually ahead of Bligh in the real Web 2.0 engagement. When you click on Anna’s Facebook link you go to a site designated as a politician’s site. When you click on Lawrence’s link you go to a personal Facebook profile. There’s no doubt that Lawrence, who has 929 friends, is more digitally native than Anna, who has 287 supporters.
So stop carping about who built Anna’s site, and start looking at what the site actually says about the Bligh government. This Queensland parochialism is nauseating.

Posted by Graham at 8:54 pm | Comments (7) |
Filed under: Online campaigning


  1. They had a launch stunt on the tv news with a pile of young labor standing arround Bligh. It only worked to make her look realy old. They should have done it at a retirement home to make her look young.
    Bligh is trying to reinvent her self with the new Anna tag. Trying to get away from the negative Beattie Bligh link. The website is a bit light on.

    Comment by Joe — February 16, 2009 @ 11:24 pm

  2. I hadn’t really noticed that Anna was looking old. She’s actually more or less my age, and I think that’s reasonably young! But there’s a spoof website that plays on her age http://nannabligh.wordpress.com/. Maybe that was what the botox was about.
    On the subject of spoof sites, there’s also one for Lawrence http://iamtheborg.wordpress.com/.
    Anna’s people haven’t really got onto this Facebook thing either. You’ll see that the Young Lib/Nats are trying to colonise her wall, while someone’s drawing attention to this blog post, which makes me feel a bit uncomfortably in her face! One thing to post something with criticisms, another to have it referred to in what feels like personal space of one of the people being criticised.

    Comment by Graham Young — February 17, 2009 @ 7:06 am

  3. Sorry Graham, but you just can’t have a website for the Premier of Queensland with the main message/prominent title “protecting Queensland jobs” … made in Victoria! You just can’t.

    Comment by Jennifer Marohasy — February 17, 2009 @ 7:40 am

  4. So Jen should she also only wear shoes and clothing from Queensland manufacturers, type her emails on Queensland-built computers using Queensland-built software, drive a Queensland made car…?

    Comment by Graham Young — February 17, 2009 @ 9:50 am

  5. Doesn’t matter where her clothes come from, Graham – she doesn’t have any! (whoops, exclamation point again 🙂
    I agree about the BS that is “web 2.0 design” and clouded in spin. Just goes to show that even the most grassroots sentiments and movements can be co-opted by vested interests and corrupted beyond recognition in a heartbeat.
    Good thing we have defenders of The Truth like Graham out there to raise awareness …

    Comment by Hugh Brown — February 17, 2009 @ 10:10 am

  6. You’re gonna love this.
    Apart from using mexican web monkeys, !!Californians!! were contracted to manage the !!website launch!!.
    No kidding, it seems a subcontractor of the multinational uber-spin meister agency Ogilvy’s, the very Warne of spin, ( or someone of the same name and business-type, who also got rushed to melbourne, according to the brag-blog) has a post up about how she to did the website launch. Or should I say HAD a post up, it’s been taken down now For the curious, this is what it said,
    “Mostly, work is work. You get a client, you figure out what they want, you launch a website, and life goes on. Saturday night, I launched the website for the Premier of Queensland, Anna Bligh. In my mind, I thought, it is a nice site, but nothing that is going to get a lot of press or praise or fame. I was mostly excited because it was my first “.au” website launch. Boy, was I wrong. Most of Queensland seems to be in an uproar that Anna hired Sydney and Melbourne-based companies to build her website while simultaneously saying she is all about Jobs of Queensland. Here are some of the articles:”
    Then she goes on to list all the sites and posts to date that expressed surprise and outrage at Anna’s betrayal of the Qld web worker sector;
    For completeness:
    * Anna’s Election site not Queensland-made
    * Twitter Spoof Page for Nanna Bligh
    * Spoof Nanna Bligh’s Blog
    * Anna carpet bombs cyberspace
    * Brisneyland Twitter
    And she re-displays them all, the complaints, on her page. Unbelievable, that’s what you get for paying top San Fransisco dollar? I bet Pete had a hand in hiring them.
    But I reckon what takes the overpriced amateur cake is the fact that Ms. Website-Launcher left her blog open for comment and some wag got on and posted:
    “So you reckon you cost her votes just for being a mexican and letting everyone know? Has anyone had a good word to say, is “carpet bombing” a complement in web monkey world or is all press good press? I admire your chutzpah claiming the job, and going with the “Ho hum, it’s a job, big deal, boy did I read the product market place wrong, let me count the ways” line. ”
    The things you find huh, when you google blogsearch “Anna Bligh”. You wouldn’t read about it wouldya? Not if PosseAnnaPR-Inc can help it. Ya think the client is pissed off?

    Comment by SouthBrisbane — February 17, 2009 @ 1:32 pm

  7. Looks like someone has set her up with a spoof Twitter account as well http://twitter.com/anna4qld. Unless she really is following John McCain but not Barack Obama.

    Comment by Graham Young — February 17, 2009 @ 2:19 pm

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