Inspired by this post on the European Citizen blog I decided to take a look at the website of the 2010 Spanish Presidency of the EU. OK, they have put some money into it, but it’s miles behind the website the Swedes produced. Worst of all the section entitled ‘What is going to happen’ is blank, bit of failure.
Beyond that hash tags on Twitter have been increasingly used to debate the politics of various EU Presidencies… and there is not a hash tag for the Spanish Presidency as yet. This is presumably due to their lack of clear plans and probably also due to the lack of a clear web strategy. @linotherhino has proposed #esprez, so maybe if enough of us EU geeks use that tag it will come to be the accepted one? Here’s the Twitter search for #esprez, while the more logical #es2010 is the tag for a social media conference in Miami!
And in the meantime if you reckon all of that’s quite poor then have a look at Van Rompuy’s website – very much the style of 2002!
In the meantime they have added some content to the ‘What is going to happen’ section on the live site. Wonder if all the bloggers having a go at them had some impact?
Seems it’s all too easy to have a go at the Spanish Presidency website – there have apparently been some security exploits putting an image of Mr Bean in the search results. The budget for the web presence of the Presidency is apparently €12 million(!), and Telefonica is somehow involved. What a waste of time and cash! It would not be hard to cook up a better (and more secure) web presence using Typo3.
It is not the first time that a spanish web of political content has been hacked, defaced or denied of service:
Spain is a country where informaticians are the largest rate of engineers by a long shot (close to 200,000), who, far than to bloom and thrive, they rot in low salaries and overcontrol from the corporate lobbies, forced to emigrate to countries where their profession is at least regulated, not to mention socially acknowledged and minimally respected.
Apart from that, the current president did make some angry declarations accussating the previous government (from the popular opossition) of wiping all data from computers previous to his arrival at La Moncloa. That, combined with some polemic movements in the intellectual property debate from the two last ministers of culture, is not helping to improve the perception of computer literate spaniards about the previous and current government’s digital policies. They seem to prefer fighting each other than to work for a modern XXIst century society.
It is also amazing that the internal opencms administration interfaz is public, opened to internet!!
The real problem is that the president of the European Council does not even have a proper website. It’s just a sub-page of the horrible Council website which is the one needing the most urgent overhaul.
By the way: The Van Rompuy website is EN only. Not even the 2-page factsheet is available in anything else than EN, FR and SE.
Just compare with Ashton’s website: at least in 2 languages, and with a design that is ok. So it can be done in 1 month.
Even if the Spanish Council presidency has failed to introduce interactive features, I hope that they notice the critical viewpoints a number of eurobloggers have arrived at independently and from different angles.
Much can be improved fairly quickly, if the will is there.
van Rompuy’s video blogs are particularly dull!