By Nathan Rudyk

Hosted by Paul Brent, CTV's Tech Now show came calling at market2world with Reporter Kate Eggins. She wanted a Web 2.0 take on how the front-runners for Ottawa's mayoral race were doing with their online campaigns.

Pleased to oblige (and our objectivity entirely intact since we are located 2 kilometers outside the Ottawa border and can't vote for any of the candidates), here was the grading criteria we used to pick a Web 2.0 winner among incumbant Bob Chiarelli and hopefuls Larry O'Brien and Alex Munter:

A = Superior Web site using Web 2.0 social media to full advantage

B = Meets most requirements of a standard Web 1.0 Web site

C = Missing key elements of Web standards

D = Missing the boat entirely

We graded the campaign sites of Chiarelli, O'Brien and Munter based on four components we felt should apply to any 21st century politician's Web site:

1. E-commerce (ability to donate online)

2. Use of Web 2.0 social media (blog/podcast/streaming video/wikipedia entry/RSS syndication/site accepts and responds to blog comments)

3. Content (multilingual/freshness/completeness/search engine)

4. Overall impression (ease of navigation, professional presentation)

And here are the grades, plus the background notes on how we chose a winner:

Larry O’Brien ( A-

A for ecommerce (has it, it works)

A for social media (has wikipedia entry, has blog that accepts comments, offers RSS syndication, has YouTube video podcast that runs in all browsers)

A for content (Google auto translation in 8 languages very cool, has search engine)

C for overall impression (marred by unpolished look and feel)

Alex Munter ( B+

A for ecommerce (has it, it works)

B for social media (has wikipedia entry, offers podcast but no blog or ability to accept comments, offers RSS syndication, YouTube and DailyMotion Web video)

C for content (no attempt at translation outside of English and French, no search engine)

A for overall impression (very strong overall impression with good navigation and presentation)

Bob Chiarelli ( B-

D for e-commerce (no e-commerce, just an electronic form to initiate donation process)

C (has wikipedia entry, has blog with no ability to accept comments, no RSS, has video, but must have Windows to run it - vs. Larry and Alex who use YouTube that runs on any PC, Mac or Linux box)

B for content (has five languages, but only a couple of introductory paragraphs in other languages, no search)

A for overall impression (solid, intuitive navigation, nice area map linked to issues)


Good luck to Ottawa's mayoral candidates in next week's election!

(Nathan Rudyk is President of market2world communications inc., Canada's Web 2.0 tech product launch and public relations agency, and founder of Ottawa's tech business podcast)