The Oscars weren’t the only coveted awards getting handed out this week. Forget about the gold guy, think gold mouse— and not the cheese-eating type. The Congressional Management Foundation, a non-profit based in Washington D.C., has for the third time given a very public nod to senators and representatives who have Web sites that are both useful and usable.
Sen. Patty Murray earned praise and a silver ranking for her “Frequently Asked Questions” section, which provides such important and obvious things as the senator’s snail mail and email addresses, and office phone number. Yes. The bar is low. According to the judges, only 26 percent of Congressional offices offer guidance on the best ways to contact your elected officials.
Rep. Brian Baird, who represents the southwest corner of the state stretching from Vancouver to Olympia, was given gold for providing content on his site that serves the needs of his audience “in spades.” He got high marks in the interactivity category for providing the basics like email updates and schedules for town hall meetings.
But Washington’s other Senator Maria Cantwell and Seattle Representatives Jay Inslee and Jim McDermott needn’t fret. They weren’t the only ones falling short of the golden mouse. Only 18 of the 615 House and Senate Web sites earned gold; 27 got silver.
Overall, the foundation found the majority of member Web sites “disappointing.”
“Congress has just not kept up with the demands of an increasingly Internet savvy public,” lamented Congressional Management Foundation Executive Director Beverly Bell.
A challenge to ye who represent the land of the tech-savvy. Get it together and blow ‘um away next year.