Review 2522

Splash pages, I never understand the point of a splash page which contains little more than jaunty slogan and a hit counter. Absolute waste of time. Now I have that out of my system I shall continue with the review. Wyre Forest Liberals is just one of a growing phenomenon of politically run weblogs, a concept I find particularly interesting if channelled in the right direction – i.e. addressing questions relevant to people in their constituency. The design of the site isn’t particularly striking, it’s a plain two column with a brief introduction to each member in the left hand column. That said, I imagine potential audiences for this weblog are going to be more interested in quality of content rather than design.

The weblog has been in existence since September 2003 and during that time it seems to have attracted a fairly substantial audience – at least for a new weblog. As you would expect the content is largely political – addressing items deemed important to local members of their constituency. The problem is I find it very area orientated, which means there was little there that concerned me as a non resident – planning applications and local politics are likely to be of interest to a local population but unlikely to catch anyone’s attention from outside. As an idea however I wish it could be adopted across the board – an open more transparent attitude to information can only be a good thing.

As said the design is not particularly striking – it’s functional to the extreme but with no real errors and working links it doesn’t detract from the content. There were however a couple of teething problems, which although based on personal preference really did taint my surfing experience. Much of the information is provided via pdf file, and while these are OK for the occasional download, to provide biographies and other information via this means is disappointing. I would prefer html alternatives, again this is simply a personal preference. The multicolour fonts did nothing for me either, the occasional quote in a complementing colour is fine – huge paragraphs in varying colours is too distracting.

This new transparent attitude to politics is something I find particularly appealing and Wyre Forest Liberals have taken their first step towards this. With modifications this site really would be of use to members of its constituency, although unlikely to attract readers from outside the area. I imagine however this is their aim, to serve their community, and in which case this site succeeds. The design is functional and not very striking, but as a first step on the blogging ladder its not a bad effort – 4/5
Wyre Forest Liberals

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