Filed under: Uncategorized
The website I chose to analyze was the Senator of New Hampshire Jeanne Shaheen’s US Senate website. As I first glanced through the website, I noticed A LOT of information. One might even consider the amount of information and links on the website overwhelming. There were links to different “hot topics” that the state of New Hampshire and Jeanne Shaheen herself are involved in. There is a place to go to read Jeanne Shaheen’s biography. There is a tab for “legislation”, “issues” and so much more. There are pictures from recent events, flyers for future events, and copies of past speeches that anyone is welcomed and encouraged to read.
As you have probably figured out from the description above, there is a large amount of “presenting political information” on this website. Jeanne Shaheen covers pretty much all of her bases and leaves no stone unturned. She is even on Twitter, and there is a link from her website to her Twitter account where people who do not even have accounts can “follow” her and stay up to date on her latest and greatest.
There is not, however, a place for the hosting of much political discussion. The only thing that allowed for what could be considered “interaction” was a “contact Jeanne” link that allows people to email Jeanne Shaheen with their thoughts, ideas, beliefs etc. (the funny part being that Jeanne does not even read these emails herself – she has workers read them and respond for her) So in all reality, emailing Jeanne Shaheen herself is not a very “interactive” activity. It is more of a way for Jeanne to feel somewhat reachable by her people of New Hampshire. There is no blog, forum, or community message board that would allow the people of New Hampshire to have an open dialogue about issues.
Having an open dialogue piece to this website would or could in fact create some issues. This website is Jeanne Shaheen’s offical U.S Senate website. This means that she has to take total responsibility for what is said on her website. Leaving an area where people can comment and express their opinion is risky because Senator Shaheen has no control over what they say. She could be portrayed in a bad light at any time in these dialogues (or even misrepresented) and that is probably not a risk she is willing to take (makes sense to me!).
Jeanne Shaheen does not even try to have this “political discussion” section on her website, because to her, it must not be worth it. There is too much at stake for her to allow an open forum-type area on the website that could potentially hurt her reputation and negatively affect the state of New Hampshire.