Democrat Alex Sink launched a Spanish version of her campaign website. She joins Republican Bill McCollum in the effort to target Hispanic voters in their language.

Spanish websites are not limited to Florida. New Mexican Democrat Diane Denish also has a Spanish language version of her website. Trilogy Interactive, the company that developed the sites for Sink and Denish, promotes itself as the “top choice amongst Democrats” like Barbara Boxer, Maria Cantwell, Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, Byron Dorgan, Dick Durbin and Russ Feingold.

Political web design or political web development is an industry that not only creates ads but develops full-scale campaigns. A website demands not only design but development and content management.

New Media Campaigns partner Clay Schossow told The Florida Independent “different sites have different goals but all online campaigns need to engage people with an attractive looking site, provide the necessary information for readers to understand the issues and commit and mobilize people with the right tools.”

Barack Obama developed a two-way interactive online strategy, engaging and mobilizing people and raising hundreds of millions of dollars, and the online campaign allowed people to be part of a social network. “Most candidates have a more one-way online strategy,” says Schosoow.

He adds that New Media Campaigns recommends other tools, “like YouTube, Facebook, Flickr and Twitter,” to their customers.

YouTube is the second-most-visited site in the world. But political videos gone viral — like “This is Alabama; We Speak English,” released by the Tim James Alabama gubernatorial campaign — are not always successful. “We never tell a client we will accomplish something like that,” Schossow says.

The use of political websites really took off “with Howard Dean, who developed a grassroots campaign, not just pushing information but starting conversations,” says Schossow. “Phase one of political websites was the informational page, a brochure-type site. Then came Howard Dean, who was the tip of the iceberg. Obama went deep with his online strategy. Phase four will take this experience even further — creating a seamless decentralized experience, with people taking control of their brand.”

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