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Home >Industry >Media >AAP, BJP score in the battle of party websites

The Internet is the window to the world and in the case of political parties. it is their window to their voters. Capturing the attention of netizens of India has been a top priority of India’s political parties, which used big data analytics and social media extensively in the campaign for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. But the digital game doesn’t end there. Political parties have to constantly keep in touch with their voters and the first step is to start maintaining a robust digital presence and a user-friendly website. Mint compares the website of leading national and regional parties including the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), Indian National Congress (INC), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and others. The parameters of comparison include home page, content, social integration and engagement/call-to-action.

HOME PAGE

BJP: Neat, easy on the eye is what best describes the home page of www.bjp.org. The website plays with the colour scheme of the party, and has a green, saffron and white background. Profile pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah are all over the home page, which asks users to join the BJP either by signing a membership form or calling the toll free number.

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AAP: www.aamaadmiparty.org homepage design is kind of similar to the BJP website. The column-based structure filled with hyperlinks gives it a clean look. Social media presence is played up well on the home page, prompting the visitor to follow AAP on Twitter or like them on Facebook. The Indian tri-colour is used as the background.

Communist Party of India (Marxist): The red mast head is attention grabbing and you won’t miss it. A single scroll home page with a clear-cut menu is easy to navigate. The majority of content displayed on the homepage is critical of the government.

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CONTENT

BJP: The main menu has been divided into six parts: the party, core issues, media resources, voter resources, make a donation and join the party. Perhaps the BJP website is the most updated one among those promoting political parties. The website plays up news about other BJP leaders like it does for Modi and Shah. Whether it is a press release or a leader speech or core issues the party stands for, everything can be found easily on the website.

INC: The site menu contains five categories: our leaders, fact check, in-focus, media and join the movement. Fact check is a section which takes down claims made by the BJP (not updated since the elections) while in-focus talks about issues or events in news. Jawaharlal Nehru, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Manmohan Singh are the only names listed under leaders. There’s not much updated content. Nostalgia is the sense it seeks to leave you with.

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Others: The only highlight of the NCP website has to be the poll and the political quiz. Rest is all about what NCP is, does or thinks about or what other parties shouldn’t do. There’s not much to hold onto at www.ncp.org.in. The core issues that affect Mumbai are the highlights of the Shiv Sena home page. Six square boxes talk about six different issues; water, roads, transport, health, waste management and industry. Rest of the menu is about the Thackeray clan and the Shiv Sena legacy. The Trinamool Congress site clearly has lot going on from the first scroll. Uneven, rectanglular tiles take up the whole page with things like quote of the day, panchayat news, weekly poll and more.

SOCIAL INTEGRATION

BJP: The pioneer in social media integration on the website has to be the BJP site. Though the party is present on four platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube), it is nicely presented. Scroll to the bottom of the page and you will get options to join the social conversation. All the apps, toll free number and newsletter subscription are listed at the top of the page. To join the conversation about any particular core issue, it uses the login of Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. Every page on the website runs a social stream widget collating tweets and Facebook posts of the party and its leaders. All the social media profiles including the Yuva Internet TV are listed under media resources.

INC: Somewhere in the second scroll you’d find links of all of the social media INC is present on. It uses Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Vine, Google+ and LinkedIn. You can share the articles under the in-focus option but that’s it. Social media integration is not very strong on the site.

AAP: It uses Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to reach out to their supporters. As there is a lot to read on the AAP website, its blogs and news articles are all shareable on social media. You can in fact join the discussion by using Disqus or social logins. The other interesting example of social integration is the Forum on the site which is a Reddit-like discussion platform. You can scan through the many conversation threads on various topics like governance, moral policing, transport, health etc. These are part of AAP’s Delhi Dialogue outreach plan.

CPI(M): Social media integration is minimum here with limited options. You can follow CPI(M) on Twitter and Facebook only. Given the amount of literature available on the website, social integration is hardly present. You can share the content on Google+, Twitter and Facebook.

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CALL TO ACTION

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