Let's take a journey through donnellyformayor.com...
First off, big points to Mr. Donnelly for bravely using the word "for" in his URL instead of making it "donnelly4mayor.com". Smart move!
Not picking a stupid domain name offsets the points lost for having half a mile of mysterious blank space at the bottom of each page. What's up with that, Tom? Are you trying to hide the hit counter at the very bottom? Because we can just scroll down, you know.
Now is the point where I'd normally count the pages on the site and compare it to the other candidates. Donnelly certainly looks like the winner if you consider his navigation bar, but here we encounter the dark underbelly of deceit at the heart of this site! There are a whopping 13 navigation buttons, but a bunch of them are basically the same damn thing.
Contact Info, Contributions, Feedback, Help Tom, Site Problem?, and Stay in Touch all fall under the general category of "contact me". Sure, they're mildly different, but they could have all been on the same page with no problem so I'm only counting them as one page. Donnelly still leads the pack on sheer website size, but man that's a lot of contact pages! Hell, even the banner at the top of every page has contact info on it. On the plus side, this does suggest that Donnelly really really loves people to contact him, which is sort of cute.
The front page of the site has a friendly welcome in which he mentions "fiscal stability" and crime reduction twice. One suspects that this may be what his campaign will focus on. He also has contact information in the body of the page. Someone give the guy a call already, I'm starting to think he might be lonely.
Let me take a moment to digress here. What the hell is up with people not proofreading their websites? Is it really that hard to just read the thing over after you've made it? Then you can avoid minor but stupid things like:
please visit my campaign headquarters at 713 Main Street at [sic] call the headquarters at 978-342-8590You end up looking stupid when your campaign website has typos, grammatical errors, and crazy punctuation and capitalization. Spell-check doesn't cut it!
But back to the site...
The Bio page is pretty decent, if a bit dry. It doesn't have the bizarre gaps we see in some other candidates' biographies, so I guess he's not trying to hide much. Although halfway through the page the format changes from going chronologically from top to bottom to the reverse. Very disorienting if you're trying to read it while drunk (which I'm not, but I assume others will be).
There's also a nice picture of his family, which looks less creepy than some pictures of this sort. Unfortunately it's over-compressed, which makes his daughter's eyes look like they're glowing demonically.
Moving on, the Issues page is the best I've seen so far. It addresses a lot of issues, includes some specifics, and is light on the crazy. Crime prevention and fiscal stability predictably get top billing.
A bit on "City Government Reorganization":
As someone who has navigated the halls of city government for years, I am aware of how frustrating it can be to communicate and find the answer to simple questions.Aha! So that's why there are so many ways to contact him!
I will as Mayor immediately upgrade our telephone system, work to improve our computer technology and make all forms available on-line to better serve citizens.
He also kisses elderly ass:
Our senior citizens are a source of wisdom and inspiration for all of us. We must continue to develop programs and plans to address the needs of this growing population, especially in the areas of transportation, housing, health, public safety and recreation.That's not unreasonable, of course. Sucking up to the elderly has rarely hurt a candidate, and I don't think there's been a lot of talk about them in general. I'm just jealous, because as a white male between the ages of 18 and 34 nobody sucks up to me except every advertiser in the country.
Overall, the issues page is really pretty decent. At least on par with Lisa Wong's, and probably a bit better. Well done!
There's a Links page, which is as boring as one would expect. That's all about that.
Moving on to the Photo Gallery! It's less entertaining than Ted DeSalvatore's photo gallery, but that's mostly because it's a real photo gallery and not a crazy-ass collection of photos of garbage (literally). There are two photos I particularly enjoy though.
First is this incredibly subtle one entitled "Tom going door to door.":Apparently the title "Tom standing next to a flag" was deemed too obvious.
My other favorite is the one of his campaign announcement. It's big and badly framed, so I'm just cropping out one section. Just look at the excitement in the crowd!
There's also a Press Release page, but all press releases are boring. They're also linked from the Issues page, so it's another redundant link!
That's about all, so what's the verdict?
In my opinion, this is the best of the mayoral campaign websites to appear so far. Good "Issues" page, decent background info, nothing too crazy, and innumerable pathways to get in contact with him if you want to. It loses a little bit for not being proofread adequately, but is still miles better than DeSalvatore on that account (as well as just about everything else). Wong's site is a bit more streamlined and grammatically immaculate, but doesn't quite have the same depth of information available. Dan Mylott's site is of course now a moot point since he's dropped out of the race.
You're left, Ronald Dionne! Make with the website!