Tuesday

31st Mar 2020

European Greens campaign website innovates with maps, wikis

  • The Greens have a Wiki which is open for everyone to edit, for example within the Greens' energy policy. (Photo: EUobserver)

At first glance, the Greens' election campaign site looks very flat, boring and heavy on the text. But once you've spent some time looking around a bit, a very well thought-out site with some clever solutions is revealed.

Several times you are struck by the fact that the simple approach can sometimes be the best. In one example, the designers have clearly displayed the member parties on a simple clickable map - which also makes it very simple to find your local member party and the party's homepage via a drop-down list.

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The information on the European Greens' website is detailed to say the least. The interested visitor can truly gain a solid idea of what the Greens stand for. The site comprehensively describes everything from the party's history and its observer parties to the recently launched manifesto.

However, there is one drawback: everything is presented in the same way, in lengthy text documents.

The site also lacks functions that allow easy sharing of interesting items in the text pieces. There's a "tip a friend" feature at the top of the site, but clicking on the title only produces an email form that lets the user send a link. Even the "Give your opinion" option results in an anonymous form that does not go to any clear recipient with the party.

The site includes a blog that is kept up to date with postings that are a good length, but it's not clear who writes them, and it's not possible to make comments on the postings other than by - once again - using the form, which has become quite tiresome by this point.

Nevertheless, the absolutely best feature on the site is a Google event map. Zooming in on the map allows the user to find out which Green events will take place at a particular location. Admittedly not many special events have been marked, and the distribution over Europe isn't very broad, but the basic concept is excellent.

It would be desirable for the various member parties to enter future events in their respective countries, thus further uniting the Greens across Europe.

\"Think Big, Vote Green\"

As with the Party of European Socialists' site, it's not until your gaze turns away from the official election campaign site that things start to really take off. The Greens have a wiki that is open for everyone to edit, for example within the Greens' energy policy, which truly actually demonstrates the desired openness that many groups today only claim to have. The user can also follow a link to a reasonably active Facebook group with interesting postings and links.

Finally, I found a somewhat hidden link to the European Greens' community, "Think Big, Vote Green." The fundamental idea is good here, but why isn't this on the same page as everything else? You get a bit of an impression that they don't expect the same people to be interested in both the content of the party program and in socialising, discussing the program and disseminating it onward.

The community isn't especially active yet – it has fewer members than the Facebook group – but this could change. The point is that at least they've taken the step of creating a community.

In summary, the European Greens' page(s) are a bit uneven: some splendid solutions such as Google event maps and the wiki, mixed with long uninspiring text passages that can't be shared. But of course there are many users with differing needs and different ways of acquiring information. Perhaps this is the right way to reach them; we will see.

Score board

(Highest score possible 25)

Design: 2

Navigation: 3

Content: 4

Cool Factor: 4

Interactivity: 4

Caroline Jungsand is a project manager and digital strategist at the Prime Group in Stockholm, a public affairs agency servicing the Nordic Region. In 2008, she was voted Rookie of the Year in the Swedish PR-industry.

This is her third in a series of EUobserver reviews of the campaign websites from the various parties ahead of the June European Parliament elections.

Blue and simple Liberals

The Liberals' 2009 campaign website is one of the most compelling yet, writes Caroline Jungsand, but even here, they have a long way to go to achieve genuine interactivity and dialogue with voters.

Libertas puts internet opportunities to use

A clever website which utilizes the possibilities of the World Wide Web, writes Caroline Jungsand in her review of the new Libertas party's website ahead of European Parliament June elections.

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