Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Air America site a winner; New GOP site, well...

After months of work, and weeks after it was officially announced, Air America has relaunched it's online presence, complete with yet another web makeover.

The new layout sports a much cleaner interface, similar to other left-leaning sites, such as Huffington Post and Talking Points Memo, which currently rank among the top progressive websites. And the new web presence seems to be keeping with their goal of creating more of a web-dominated, rather than a strictly radio-based platform.

First thing noticed is the new look, which resembles that of WZAA, the station they operate in Washington, DC. There is a new logo and graphics scheme.

Also noticeable is a much more organized on-air schedule, modeled on the lineup of WZAA. A replay of Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show airs during the noon hour (as well as earlier in the morning), followed by the two-hour Jack Rice program. Former Air America host Randi Rhodes, now syndicated by Premiere, airs on the Air America feed during the 3-6P hours.

The new site also features three audio streams. The main one, the WZAA stream and an 'Air America Classics' stream, featuring old shows from the likes of Al Franken, Janeane Garofalo, Sam Seder, Marc Maron, Thom Hartmann, Maddow, and Rhodes.

The shows of Lionel and Montel Williams will also air in streaming video on the site. In addition, the site features thousands of various audio and video clips. Users of the multimedia stuff in non-Internet Explorer browsers (such as Firefox, Chrome and Safari) will have to install Microsoft's Silverlight add-on.

While Air America's previous websites have typically been downright awful at worst and just plain uninteresting at best, this one looks to actually be competitive with some of their contemporaries. Granted, it could use a bit more print comment for that to happen, but so far, it appears Air America has gotten the right idea.

The irony is that the much-ridiculed Air America did something the Republican Party couldn't, namely, put up a functional website. The GOP is currently roiled in embarassment, as its own much-ballyhooed web relaunch turned into a complete laughing stock.

Where should we begin? Oh, how about that little Michael Steele that walks on to the screen, ala Microsoft Office? Or his blog, humorously titled "What's Up?" There's that "Future GOP Leaders" page that featured a big white spot that says "404 Error: This page could not be found." To be fair, the page has been corrected, though the new version simply begs 'future GOP leaders' to email them and let them know that some actually exist.

Then there's that GOP Heroes page that sports quite a few African-America faces. Only thing is, most of those faces are from the 19th century! Jackie Robinson is pictured, however, but let's face it, Robinson wasn't a Republican. Strangely enough, all the women profiled under 'GOP Heroes" are from the 1800s too.In fact, the most recent face is that of Ronald Reagan. Too bad Steele didn't put his own mug up there.

And the home page? Good grief! As it stands now, it is nothing but source code! Then, a loading error. Yeah, really nice web presence there, fellas!

Needless to say, the new GOP website seemingly reflects the party's leader, the much-ridiculed leader, Michael Steele, who puts his foot in his mouth every time he opens it. And again, it is quite ironic that Air America, supposedly the gang that couldn't shoot straight, has their act together more than the Republican Party.

Perhaps the GOP just needs more web designers in their ranks.


tmode93 said...

I've never really had the inclination to check out the GOP website but after reading this gave it a look. Summing up my reaction; BAHAHAHAHAHAHA !!!

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