Judges reveal best (and worst) politicians' websites

Judges reveal best (and worst) politicians' websites

Summary: At the inaugural MP Website Awards, hosted by the British Computer Society at the House of Commons, MPs were told who really cuts the mustard online

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TOPICS: Networking
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  • The inaugural MP Website Awards , an event spearheaded by the British Computer Society (BCS), was presented at the House of Commons on Wednesday.

    "Is he more interested in himself or his voters?" asked the judging panel en route to deciding the best — and worst — websites created by the country's MPs.

    The critical comments — not about Boris (pictured above) — were not untypical of the outpourings of a judging panel evaluating the efforts made by our top politicians to bring themselves online.

    BCS president Nigel Shadbolt chaired an experienced team of judges, including political journalists Patrick Wintour from The Guardian, and the Daily Mail's Quentin Letts.

    Many MPs, however, have still not created a website. Of the 646 elected representatives in the House of Commons, 96 failed to list a URL in the official MPs directory.

    Of those who do have a site, many simply were not good enough, argued the judges, basing the awards on three key criteria: design, engagement and accessibility. But they did highlight the successes.

    The unmistakable Boris Johnson, Conservative MP for Henley, was recognised as a finalist in the BCS's design category with a site that was "engaging, busy and interactive, with plenty of opinion and an extended Wikipedia presence".

  • Johnson was beaten to the design award, however, by Paul Flynn, the 72-year-old veteran MP for Newport West in South Wales.

    Flynn, labelled "Labour's Welsh Terrier" by the BBC's Nick Assinder, is getting familiar with website accolades, having received a New Statesman award for his efforts in 2000.

    The BCS applauded Flynn's 2007 efforts as both "bold and attentive".

Topic: Networking

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