There are many advantages to having a blog – they make it extremely easy to disseminate information, and because of the various technologies built in to the blogging software (pings, comments, etc.) and the ease of updating, Search Engines love them and rate their content highly.
With this in mind, you would think that politicians would jump at the chance to increase their profiles online and easily disseminate information on what they are doing. So when I saw Gavin’s post this morning on Irish political blogs, I thought “At last – it is starting to happen!”
However, my positive first impressions were short-lived – on checking out the “blogs” of the two Fianna Fail by election candidates Aine Brady and Shane Cassells it quickly became obvious that these were not blogs at all but merely sites with sections mocked-up to look like blogs! Why?
Blogging software is available free so it isn’t a cost issue.
The two sites in question are merely template sites seemingly put together by a Niall Kearns Mills of Artesys. Artesys didn’t use blogging software to create the ‘blog’ section of these sites – this would appear to demonstrate a complete ignorance of the fundamental advantages of using blogging software. Or is there another explanation?
A quick check of the code on the ‘blog’ pages yields the following:
It appears that all the content on these sites goes through Fianna Fail HQ. Fianna Fail can’t have their candidates saying anything which doesn’t toe the party line, can they?
Nope – “no opinions here, move along now”
6 thoughts on “Fianna Fail controls the content of candidates' "blogs"”
Niall Kearns Mills wrote the first major revision of the Fianna Fail website using PHP. I think the current web diary project extends that codebase. If a party member wants to have independent editorial control, they need to have their own infrastructure (like the first FF politician, http://www.johnmcguinness.com )
The centralised control issue is a very interesting one – nicely spotted Tom.
I think that this could be a web dry run for the next general election as far as FF is concerned. Each politician is entitled to have their own .ie domain name and it would be interesting to see if they are all being flipped from the ordinary hosters to a central FF server. The website IPs for the FF pols should therefore all be the same.
Bernie, thanks for your comment. However, I’m not sure what you mean by “their own infrastructure”. Aine Brady’s site is on a shared server owned by American Pro Servers in NY, Shane’s site is on a server intriguingly called siteanal owned by Designer Servers in the UK.
All they need, as I understand it, in terms of infrastructure is some blogging software or a cms.
Am I missing something?
Surely they wouldn’t try that John? They’d never get away with it.
What I’d love to know is, who is writing the copy for these two sites!
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