Uncategorized | 7:49 pm | April 13, 2008 | By Zach Marks

Election 2.0: YCC Campaigns Go Digital

By Zach Marks

As of 8 p.m. Sunday night, Harrison Marks’ campaign website had 566 hits. If the number of visitors to a candidate’s site has any correlation to the number of supporters he has, Harrison will need to draw a bit more traffic to be competitive in this race. Then again, Marks’ site is the only one that has a traffic counter, so it’s hard to tell who’s getting the most love on the internets.

Each of the candidates’ sites do some things better than those of their opponents. Marks’ features some sweet pics and a forum for visitors, but you have to register to participate, which pretty much renders it useless.

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Harrison Marks gets his zen on in an attempt to woo the crucial 5 o’clock yoga bloc.

Katrina Landeta welcomes visitors to her site with a beautiful smile and dimples that may propel her to the presidency on their own. Landeta’s site is done in a more minimalist manner than Marks’. Its simple, straightforward organization – like her dimples – may remind voters of Rebecca Taber.

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Katrina Landeta plans to capitalize on voters’ cries for “One More Year of Taberesque Dimples!”

Marks and Landeta have created informative sites, but Rich Tao’s easily takes the cake for most impressive. The home page offers five video testimonials, each from a Yalie representing a different segment of campus. There’s Adrian Latortue, Tao’s varsity fencer roommate who serves as co-moderator of the Asian American Student Alliance (anyone know if a non-Asian – Adrian is African-American – has held that post before?), who talks about Tao’s “personality and passion.” Then there’s senior Shruti Gupta, who’s worked with Rich on diversity issues – she’s active in the Coalition for Campus Unity and Yale’s Minority Advisory Committee. Then comes freshman Sam Schoenburg, an active member of Yale’s political scene who’s lead Yale for Obama canvasses and phonebanks, who recalls the time Rich came by his room in the beginning of the year as a YCC representative to ask what issues were important to him. And so the videos go on. Just like Jon Wu did in “Yes Wu Can,” Tao has assembled a diverse group of students – young, old, black, white – who all have decided to endorse him based on their experience with him in different settings. Each testimonial ends with the endorser saying something to the tune of, “I’m voting for Rich Tao on April 14,” followed by that awesome opening riff from The Beatles’ “Come Together.”

The parallels between Wu and Tao go a step further. Just as “Yes Wu Can” established Wu as the Obama of his race, Tao’s website has done the same in his. Tao’s “Come Together” is arguably a better choice for a theme song than Obama’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” given Yale’s demographics. Tao’s site’s red, white and blue theme just feels a bit more presidential than the neon green thing Marks has going on. Plus, the fact that Tao bought www.richardtao.com instead of using freewebs.com’s hosting service as Marks and Landeta did means visitors don’t have to filter through ads to browse the site, although I can’t say I’m not interested to “Meet hot single girls waiting for you in Danbury, CT” as an ad on Landeta’s site encouraged me to do earlier today.

All three sites offer some interesting bio information – Katrina always wishes at 11:11…OMG ME TOO!! – but the hidden gem of these three sites is the picture of a scrawny high school Rich Tao rockin a Troy basketball tee.

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“Troy stand up!” says an enthusiastic Rich Tao.

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