Rick Farmer and Rich Fender,
"eParties: Democratic and Republican State Parties in 2000."
Party Politics, 11 (January, 2005), 47-58.
Both the Republican and Democratic National Committees
developed a national strategy for using the web in 2000.
This investigation takes an initial step toward determining
whether or not state parties followed that lead. It
documents the form and content of Democratic and Republican
state party websites in 2000. The range of state party
websites was broad - from state parties that lacked simple
graphics to those with streaming video. Findings indicate
that while state party websites attempted to provide
essential party functions online, they lacked technical
sophistication. State parties receiving large amounts of
soft-money transfers produced the strongest websites and
demonstrated the most expertise in this emerging medium. The
findings suggest patterns which merit further
Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Measured tasks defined
Table 2. Website form and content indicators by state party
Table 3. Bivariate and multivariate relationships between
Party Web Quotient
First Two paragraphs in the conclusion:
In 2000, party activists and not ordinary voters were
likely to go online to get information about party
activities and candidates. As a result, state party
officials anticipated little electoral benefit from
investing heavily in the web. When supporters came to their
websites, most state parties offered very little. Some did
not even include a telephone number or email address.
However, both national parties thought the web to be an
important and powerful tool for organizing activists and
building for the future.
The Party Web Quotient, described here, is a measure for
comparing state party websites across states and over time.
It is based on aggregating measures of party functions and
technical functions. Scores calculated for all 97 websites
operated by the major state parties in the 2000 US election
provide benchmarks for future research. These scores
illuminate some useful, though preliminary, insights into
how parties are adapting.