According to a recent piece on PBS’s MediaShift blog, the answer is simplicity and the ability to inspire action. I agree — which is good, because I’m quoted extensively in the article, along with Joe Rospars (a guy who REALLY knows what he’s talking about), Robert Willington (who worked on Scott Brown’s campaign last winter) and Tim Hysom (Congressional Management Foundation). MediaShift’s Steven Davy does a great job pulling the pieces together, and he also got us to pass along several examples of what we thought were good and bad campaign sites (thanks to several of my NMS colleagues for tossing out ideas on that front). Good lessons all around, and anyone who’s tried to communicate online would probably agree with the conclusion of the piece:
One thing that all good campaign websites have in common is that they get to the point quickly and do a good job of capturing a user’s interest.
“At the end of the day what many people will give you is their first couple of seconds on the site,” Rospars said. “If you don’t make clear that they are important or that there are real opportunities to get involved and that it will be a meaningful thing for them, they are gone.”
You’d better believe it — and a website they WILL find more interesting is always only a click away.