October 13th, 2009
05:15 PM ET
12 years ago

With a few stumbles out of the gate, RNC launches revamped site

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/13/art.gopsite1013.gop.jpg caption="The RNC relaunched GOP.com Tuesday."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Republican National Committee debuted its newly redesigned online portal GOP.com Tuesday - but not without a few technical headaches, including some that left the site completely unavailable for parts of the day.

“Due to a high volume of web traffic, our new website experienced a few technical difficulties, but we are working out the glitches to bring it back to full working order,” the RNC's Director of Media Affairs LeRoy Coleman said in an e-mail to CNN.

The new version of GOP.com, which prominently features images of women and ethnic and racial minorities, plugs the party's involvement in social networking sites. A section on the homepage allows users to see posts on the GOP's Facebook page, where roughly 93,000 people have connected with the RNC. From the new site, users can also view the RNC's Twitter feed along with YouTube videos and a flickr slideshow.

The party says new site will also act as a Web platform that will play host to applications which the party is encouraging conservative online activists to build for the site. It also hosts eight new blogs, including a blog written by Steele, entitled "What up?"

"The Internet has been around for awhile, now," Steele writes in his first blog post on the revamped site. "Today, I want to begin to better connect with Republicans everywhere."

But not all Republicans are happy with the new approach, as the site faced some early criticism from conservatives. A blog post on the conservative portal townhall.com called GOP.com a "(Red) Hot Mess" and "downright embarrassing."

"Playing into all the medias' favorite stereotype, the RNC seems so desperate to avoid being labeled the party of 'old, white men,'" writes conservative Meredith Jessup.

"After sitting and clicking for a while, it becomes embarrassingly apparent how the RNC is seemingly desperate for female and minority voters. Instead of showing pictures of all different kinds of people, the RNC has singled-out these people and, more specifically, their votes - a petty political maneuver and one of many reasons disillusioned Republicans are so fed up with the party in the first place."

The Democratic National Committee almost immediately took gleeful note of the round of glitches that plagued the site today, including the inadvertant posting of password and administrative instructions on some areas of the site; the apparent absence of content in several sections, including the "Future Leaders" page; and failure of Web pages on the site to load. At times, GOP.com was completely unavailable for access.

Steele shot back in defense of the site. "It's a beta site, meaning that there - we're working out a lot of the kinks and the bugs," he told Fox News. "So the Dems can have their fun. Go play with it, have some fun with it. ...But the reality - but the reality of it is, it is a new tool to communicate the new GOP."

Filed under: GOP • RNC • Social Media • Social Networking
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. ICARE

    No, no, no, never. Go back and chip on stone tablets or rocks. Your PARTY has never endorsed major initiatives to move America to the future.

    The only reason why we have the internet is because Bill Clinton fought you stone-age freaks and passed a bill to fuel research.

    So, go back and chip on stone tablets!! You dont need the internet.

    October 13, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. Ethan

    CNN doesn't even mention the best page. The GOP "Heroes" page that shows a handful of African-Americans - like Frederick Douglas - and early feminist women like Susan B. Anthony... as if today's GOP bears any resemblance of the Republican Party of the 19th Century! Hello! That was like 200 years ago!

    October 13, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  3. Whatsupp with Steele being the Worst RNC Chairman in History

    The new website is the worst politicial party website in the history of mankind. Republicans hate it and Democrats appear to be making fun of it (just by telling the truth). Why would anyone use the dorkiest site in existence? If Steele really wants to help the GOP he will resign and give someone a chance to lead.

    October 13, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  4. JonDie

    Just one more way for Republicans to stick their collective feet in their mouths more quickly.

    October 13, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  5. The Voice

    The GOP could not run a nation for 8 years, now thay can't even run a website. Incompetence at all levels.

    October 13, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  6. Rob Johnson

    These people can't manage a website, and some people want to put them in charge of the country?

    Obama may not be perfect, but when you consider the alternative, he sure looks good to me.

    And Michael Steele's blog is called "What Up?" Are you serious? Surely somebody at CNN is pulling our leg?

    I'm just glad that some conservatives are willing to call the GOP out on what sounds like a genuinely embarrassing attempt to be "cool."

    October 13, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  7. mario mtl ca

    You still the party of NO

    October 13, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  8. Jeff in Houston

    Not bad. Give them credit for learning how to master "that there magic TV [insert spitting sound here]." This is truly a credit to how easy we have made the internet when people like this can build a web page. Some of them cannot even read, well, read anything not apporved by their masters. A standing ovation is in order. Web sites built by people who have barely mastered fire. Wow.

    October 13, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  9. Gary's Opinion

    For the last 8 years GOP controlled everything and seemed to be spending too much money. It wasn't clear that they were listening to the people. It wasn't clear that Bush was competent.

    BUT NOW....Obama appears more incompetent than Bush! Obama, Pelosi and Reid are way more fiscally irresponsible than Bush or the Republicans. I never thought I would pine for the days of Bush but alas Bush was better.

    Maybe the only real solution is a better balance 50% R, 50% D or even better more independents in congress.

    October 13, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "we're working out a lot of the kinks and the bugs"

    Targetting voting demographics like minorites and women by putting up photos and rhetoric exclusively geared towards them is not a "kink" or a "bug." It is a failure of susbtance. It is evidence that you JUST DON'T GET IT: THIS IS NOT A GAME. OUR LIVES ARE NOT A MARKETING PLOY TARGET. Instead of putting up embarassing drivel that the advertising exec equivalent of a political mind told you woul dhelp get you more [insert demographic] voters, you might try actually doing some deep thinking and actual soul searching as a party. Some of your fundamental ideological premises have failed and been rejected...there's sand under your foundation and you need new blueprints.

    October 13, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  11. Tom in CA

    "New tool?" Really Steele.....maybe "new" for you old GOP farts.

    October 13, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  12. yuri

    The desparation shown by the GOP appears to be bordering in the neighborhood of pathetic performance and obsolete oblivion. These are our kindest words for them.

    October 13, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  13. Minnesotan

    Image is everything isn't it GOP? What's next, you gonna pay ethnics to show up at your (klan) rallies? The face of Old White People is trying to pawn itself off as some sort of all-races type party. The package looks like one thing but the substance is ALWAYS the same.

    Phony! Phony! Phony!

    October 13, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  14. TKW-New Mexico

    Republicans suprise me everyday. So, now they're the party of all ethnic groups? LOL! Are you serious?

    October 13, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  15. Joanie

    Stop twittering and grow up!

    You make yourselves look like High School Bullies – oh that is so funny...did you hear, did you see the you-tube...really grow up!

    October 13, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  16. ran

    They need to revamp their whole party.

    October 13, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  17. LacrosseMom

    The GOP is out of touch with Americans.

    The GOP is looking out for Big Oil, Big Pharma & Big Insurance.

    The GOP is about lies, hate, fear and division.

    GOP= no solutions, no new ideas...... NOT ON AMERICA'S SIDE!

    October 13, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  18. Rick

    "I admit freely that I think, live, and breathe black first and foremost. That is one of the reasons I was so committed to the governor and so opposed to Senator Barry Goldwater. Early in 1964 I wrote a Speaking Out piece for The Saturday Evening Post. A Barry Goldwater victory would insure that the GOP would be completely the white man's party. What happened at San Francisco when Senator Goldwater became the Republican standard-bearer confirmed my prediction."

    -Jackie Robinson

    October 13, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  19. Moderate Democrat

    No surprise. Everything the republicans do starts with stumbling blocks.......and ends in total distaster.

    Par for the course!

    October 13, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  20. Lynne

    Someone should take Michael Steele aside and tell him that "what up" will not win over "the bros"..it just makes him look stupid and a panderer!!

    October 13, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  21. vince

    it is a new tool to communicate the new GOP.....

    right, Steele.. same as the old

    October 13, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  22. Vets4Obama

    The last good republican was Lincoln. The rest have sucked. Ironically the last good policy from a republican was also Lincoln, the ending of slavery.

    What a tragedy that the party Lincoln came from became such a disfunctional and embarrassing stain on america's character.

    October 13, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  23. B

    Blind leading the Blind..

    October 13, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  24. OneWiseGuy

    Hey, didn't the RNC support and help W Bush get elected? So, are we supposed to do the opposite of what you say?

    October 13, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  25. Not Right or Left but Forward

    The GOP has to really do back to school to find minority members and women heroes – a few here and there that they hope people somehow link to their Neanderthal policies. All it takes is a few seconds of panorama shots at their last convention – seeing the faces of all those well-dressed white balding businessmen, being ushered to their seats by black and hispanic men and women. It was like looking for a needle in a haystack to find a minority in that crowd, but from their website, you would think they were blacker and more hispanic than anything else. What's wrong with tis picture? Can you see a little desparation in their presentation? A little bit of forced integration, shall we say?

    October 13, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
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