At the risk of being accused of picking on Chandila Fernando, I do have a couple of comments now that shiny version of his website has finally been published.
1) Now it has been launched, what is the point of the holding page? If it at least had a sign up form that would be something. As it stands it just makes the content another click away. Does no-one worry about bounce rates these days?
2) When will the UK English version be made available? I’m sure proposes to “decentralize” and “modernize” will go down well with an American audience but over here we call them spelling mistakes.
3) Why is it that whenever you point your mouse on the Libby Bird, it flies away? That isn’t just gimmicky, it’s annoying.
4) For all this talk about the party having a confusing brand, which brand will Fernando finally settle on? On the front page alone we have “Modernize, Streamline, Decentralize” and “The Troubleshooter: the activist, on your side, to turn it around.” Click on “About Chandila” and we get three more adjectives “Energy, Leadership, Enthusiasm.” Click on “Manifesto” and it becomes “The Fresh Face, New Ideas, Serious.” These are all very nice words, but how does this amount to a candidate that really knows what he’s talking about when it comes to branding?
5) If you’re going to launch a website days late, you ought to make sure everything is ready. Having an empty “Events” page and “coming soon” on the “Get Involved” page is pretty dire.
I know I’m open to the accusation of being mean here but if you are really trying to sell yourself on your professionalism, you really do need to get your ducks in a row.
The Metropolitan Police have launched a beta version of their new crime mapping website. It’s a simple enough Google Maps mash up but I found it highly addictive.
It could be improved – for one thing a break down of crimes by type would be useful. But it does take the figures down to sub-ward level, which is particularly handy.
Overall though, my main reaction to it is probably as it should be: so what? It turns out I live in an “average” area for crime and by “average” I mean there was one recorded crime in June and three in May. Some of the areas neighbouring this crime cesspit have even lower recorded incidents. Where I work, things are slightly worse – 7 incidents in June within my sub-ward. But even then it is surrounded by more average areas. The overall picture is far from a city under seige.
For H2G2, Douglas Adams invented the Total Perspective Vortex – an instrument torture designed to show you exactly how small and insignificant you really are. While I’m sure the Metropolitan Police’s new mashup isn’t powered by a piece of fairy cake, it does have a similar effect. I know the Daily Mail were demanding this sort of thing a few months ago, but I suspect they will end up loathing it as it will (literally) put them in their place.