What Makes A Great Political Web Site ?

I'm curious to know what folks think are some of the better political web sites out there in terms of organization, ease of use, ease of information access, usefulness of available information, etc.. As a general rule, I see a lot of sites that have a number of bells and whistles, but they are often lacking in substance, or that substance is difficult to access.

POV and disclaimer:  I work (but not "work" work) on web sites for local party organizations, and I'm in the process of revamping one of them, so that's why I'm asking.  The info could be useful for anyone else working on a similar project, but if this is not really appropriate material for BlueNC, by all means dump the thread.

Comments

party hack

What are you looking for exactly? Daily Kos has the dKosopedia, which makes looking for information fairly simple. Brainshrub.com has a search function. Are you looking to build community sites like dKos and Booman Tribune, or are you looking to build sites that stress content, like MyDD, Blah3, or AmericaBlog? A third sort is typified by Atrios, which is a strong personality giving fodder to commenters for ranting and conversing.

This site has built good community and will continue to do so through its diaries and comment threads. The information on this site is more difficult to find/access than at some other sites.

If you want to give people easily accessible information, use calendars, email lists, RSS feeds, and tabs. If you're looking to build community, have functions that allow for individuals to speak their minds with as little filter as possible.

Again, what exactly are you looking for in this comment thread?

Scrutiny Hooligans - http://www.scrutinyhooligans.us

I think OAC

is setting new trends as well.
Podcasts with the main attractions, whether it be local or national.

Posts by those in the know, followed up by follow-up by the same.

Uhmmm... up-to-date Calendar, contact information, committee lists, precinct info (what kind of site?).

I am thinking you are doing a county site, is that right?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

County site, yes

But I'll take ideas from anywhere, any level, campaign sites included. 

I've visited party sites for several states and counties, but haven't really found any one that floats my boat all that much. I checked out the OAC site the other day just briefly. They're doing some interesting things, but it's so...cluttered.

I think that's the main dichotomy I've been finding: sites are either really dull; or they are cluttered with lots of little buttons, and sections, and whatnots that often overlap or are redundant.

Maybe people like buttons and whatnots. ???

I'm more interested in straight up party sites

So access to reliable and pertinent information (where to vote, how to vote, who to vote for, legislative scorecards, etc..) is more what I'm looking for, one or two clicks removed from the front page, and without the cumbersome Flash overlay it seems like a lot of sites are moving toward. (Not that Flash stuff is bad, per se, just that a lot of people use it badly.)

Community-building is fine, too. I haven't found a CMS that really addresses that issue very well yet (or one I have the chops to handle), so my thinking along those lines is to set up a separate blog for that sort of thing and link to it, Wordpress, or something like that.

Orange County has a decent site.

Not in love with it.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Clarity and content matters most to me

I want to be able to find and use platform information, contact information, real email addresses to real people quickly and easily

And I want super-easy-to-use contribution forms.