Techwrecks VII: The new GOP.com, from RFP to DOA
It's almost not fair to pile more contempt on the incredible amount already heaped over the mangled wreckage that is the Republican National Committee's new website, whose redesign was initiated by the party's, uh, inimitable chairman, Michael Steele. As BusinessInsider.com (hardly a partisan organ) reported when the original RFP went out, even tech-savvy types on the Right recognized the project for what it was: A poorly envisioned, badly scoped, horribly defined disaster.
Red State's Erick Erickson is a bit circumspect, but see if you can suss out his take on the RFP by reading through the lines: "[T]here is no way any competent person would put together an RFP like this. It's crap. It is not legitimate. It is unprofessional. It is illusory." The RFP is all buzz words -- "Flash," "widgets" -- but little in the way of specifics. No matter: the RNC wants all bidder to attach a firm price tag to their proposals. How much is "some place the box hasn't even reached" going for these days? On the Next Right, Dale Franks is holding on to some glimmer of hope: "Surely this is all some sort of elaborate joke. Perhaps on Monday the RNC will tell us that they were just having us on. Then, once we've all had a good laugh, they'll release the real RFP."
The best part about the RFP? They wanted a wholesale redesign, which would go "someplace the box hasn't reached yet" while remaining fully buzzword-compliant...in 45 days. Looks like they missed the deadline. But even with the extra time, the site proved to be broken on launch, throwing up error pages to those eager to see the fresh paint (including, presumably, both actual Republican die-hards and giggling progressives). And once the problem (conspiracy?) was fixed, the results were...underwhelming to say the least. Of course, what do you expect from a party whose current and former leadership includes such digital winners as Chuck "Stop Me Before I Tweet Again" Grassley and Ted "Series of Tubes" Stevens? The most appropriate thing about the site? Its blank "future leaders" page. Truth in advertising, at least.