Friday, March 4, 2011

A Note on FHQ's 2012 Presidential Primary Calendar(s)

We are entering a phase in the formation of the 2012 presidential primary calendar that is much more difficult to track efficiently. Some states are moving dates, others are proposing legislation to the move dates of their presidential primaries and still others are to this point doing nothing. With all of this going on it, the potential exists for there to be a number of iterations of the calendar out there to account for all of the minor details that are changing. Our effort is to get as much information out there as possible about this process, but if we continue to produce calendar after calendar every time something changes, we run the risk of confusing visitors who enter the site on a past calendar page and are unable to get the most recent update. Links to the most recent calendar posts are always added when the calendar is updated, but those have proven ineffective.

As such, FHQ has made the proactive decision to automatically redirect visitors coming into those past 2012 calendars to a static page that has been created to house the most current update. This will first and foremost get visitors the most up-to-date information on where the calendar stands. That is the primary objective.

But what does that mean for you old hands who drop by on a regular basis to check on the calendar. Well, for folks who come into FHQ from our RSS, Twitter or Facebook feeds, not much. It is still business as usual. When a change to the calendar takes place, a new update will be posted. You will get that notification through the channels listed above once that update posts and can choose to follow that link to the post or to go to the static page for the calendar. They will both be updated (nearly) simultaneously. One of the advantages of a page (and link) devoted to the latest update is that it gives FHQ the ability to add links to new legislation from states to that calendar without having to put out an all-new calendar for that one minor change. Again, we don't want to flood the market with seemingly conflicting calendars. Updates, then, will be reserved for when the calendar actually changes -- like when Idaho moved or once Minnesota's first Tuesday in February date was triggered. For those just interested in a quick glance at where the calendar stands, but not necessarily how it got to that point, it is probably a good idea to bookmark the new page, and check in for the latest update at your own leisure.

Everyone has their own way of checking these things and we don't want to mess with that, but FHQ has to balance being completely open and making sure that people are getting an updated and informative look at where the calendar stands at the moment they enter the site. Once the calendar is set in stone, the redirects will be removed and people can once again go through the archive of updates. A post linking to all those updates will probably be useful at that point.


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