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The second formal website benchmarking survey of South African political parties was released today by World Wide Worx.

In the article, “DA leads in online race”, it was revealed that the Democratic Alliance is leagues ahead – in the online world – of the political pack competing in South Africa’s 2011 Municipal Election race.

Headed by South Africa’s leading expert on internet and mobile technology trends, Arthur Goldstuck, World Wide Worx conducted an in-depth analysis of the main political parties websites and internet strategies.

The analysis draws on the Webagility system, which breaks down into several units such as aesthetics and usability, social media management, substance and content strategy, and even more micro-elements, all of which are assigned a score and measure overall effectiveness of the political parties’ online presence.

The evolution of online activity

Since the 2009 General Elections, it appears that the DA has been making huge inroads online –as opposed to the African National Congress, who, though greatly improved, still lag far behind. And the Congress of the People? They’re barely on the digital map.
According to Steven Ambrose, Managing Director of Strategy Worx, who conduct the Webagility analyses:

“The DA site stands apart from the rest in usability, substance of content and use of social media.”

Helen Zille and DA Klout score
The DA’s Helen Zille and her influence score on Klout.

One of the most impressive initiatives from the DA has been their weekly Twitter Q & A sessions, or “town hall meetings”.

DigitLab analysed Jacob Zuma’s SA president Twitter profile against Helen Zille’s profile in terms of their influence in the Twitter community. The Klout score result for the SA President was 19 out of 100, versus Helen Zille’s score of 71 out of 100.

This shows that the DA’s hard work in the online arena is paying off.

“The ANC still does not have a clear understanding of how to engage an online audience. As for COPE, their online presence is damaging to the party’s image, revealing that they have little understanding of the online space at all.” – Steven Ambrose, Strategy Worx

According to World Wide Worx, the DA scored 65% for its site and strategy, which is described as “Fair”. The ANC scored 55% (“adequate”) and COPE received a “Workable, with potential for embarrassment” at 42%.

Although not mentioned in the article, it would seem that the African Christian Democratic Party are also making inroads in the online space, with the National Chairman, Jo Ann Downs, recently launching her own personal blog.

To view the original article by Arthur Goldstuck, click here.