POLITICALARENA.COM RE-LAUNCHES NEW LOOK, ISSUES-BASED WEBSITE
By EDWIN P. SALLAN
WITH a totally new look to include all official candidates for not just the presidency but also the vice-presidency and those seeking Senate seats, PoliticalArena.com recently relaunched its so-called Version 2.0 or the second phase of its ongoing evolution.
WHEN it was first launched in June of last year, PoliticalArena.com, there were no official candidates for any position at the time so the site included all information it could gather on 22 perceived presidentiables. Now with 10 official candidates in place (Nicanor Perlas not included in photo above and Vetallano Acosta not in both pics at all), the site has introduced major changes and new features.
“By including the presidential candidates’ respective running mates and senatorial slates, our users are given access to majority of the candidates running for national seats,” says PoliticalArena.com General Manager Racquel Caguirangan.
Caguirangan added that the site’s home page now includes a new Issues section that features the presidential candidates’ answers to the country’s top issues. “With this feature, users are allowed to know the views of the presidentiables on important issues and compare their responses,” she points out.
The old Issues section that housed over 500 questions posted by site members is now called the Question and Answer section. Here, users can still pose other questions they still consider relevant that may range from anything like national security to the environment to tourism to the youth to even the much-talked about Reproductive Health Bill issue.
“While the new PoliticalArena.com has a lot of new features to better cater to our users’ needs, we have also retained many of our popular features,” Caguirangan notes. “These include the News, Announcements and Calendar sections that all relay important information on current events and the candiates’ campaign activities and events as well as our very popular Forum where we encourage healthy discussions on everything related to politics and the Philippines.”
Since the start of the year, the site has garnered a total of 484,515 hits with page views of 1,358,501 as of January 14. Absolute unique visitors is 396,746 with a daily traffic of 2,319.69. Accessed in more than 180 countries, China, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia are among the top countries that regularly surf the site outside of the Philippines.
Asked if PoliticalArena.com will also include information on those running for local positions, Caguirangan says they would like to do so but are still trying to figure out how to go about it at this time.
For his part, Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez says that the growing response of the public to sites like PoliticalArena.com as well as independent initiatives like Blogwatch.ph underscores the importance of this coming elections to the general public.
“We welcome anything that will help us disseminate election-related information, even sites that have been critical of the Comelec,” he says. “This is an important event in our history and we’d like to get everyone involved as much as possible.”