Chuck Moulton Reports LP.org Website Transition has 83% Data Loss

broken-linksFrom Moulton and Flood to Ludlow copied to LNC Business List:

Kevin,

Glad to help!

Obviously, it is much easier for you to see what redirects need to be made, as you have access to the old website, the new website, and the 404 logs. However, you seem to be having trouble with this, so I’ll provide you with the information you need.

It would be very difficult to compile a list of all incoming links to lp.org without access to the server logs. Therefore, I used Google’s search results, which is a reasonable proxy for outside links. I searched for “site:lp.org”, then I did followup searches for all directories I found with “site:lp.org inurl:lp.org/blog” (for example) because Google does not list all the results it has indexed without narrow searches. This netted 2,531 unique URLs indexed by Google. I wrote a program in Python to scrape that information.

Next, Stewart Flood wrote a Perl program to check every URL on my list and find out whether it threw a 404 error. (He also checked for load times and other information, which we will highlight in a subsequent report.) Sorry this took so long… Stewart was busy watching the World Series. We re-ran the script several times this week to see if staff added any redirects… they only added one page: /contribute. The program can be re-run at any time to track what’s been added. Not all of the missing URLs should necessarily be carried forward, but a lot of historical information is no longer present.

Our results are included in the attachments. (Note: In the summary page, these are groupings by directory, not the actual URLs.)

Basically, 83% of the webpages indexed by Google have not been carried over or properly redirected.

In liberty,

Chuck Moulton
Life Member & Monthly Pledger, Libertarian Party
2006-2008 IT Committee Chair

Stewart Flood
Life Member & Monthly Pledger, Libertarian Party
2008-2012 IT Committee Chair

Attachment 1 (Report-Summary)
Attachment 2 (Report-Missing)
Attachment 3 (Report-Detail)

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About Caryn Ann Harlos

Caryn Ann Harlos is a paralegal residing in Castle Rock, Colorado and presently serving as the Region 1 Representative on the Libertarian National Committee and is a candidate for LNC Secretary at the 2018 Libertarian Party Convention. Articles posted should NOT be considered the opinions of the LNC nor always those of Caryn Ann Harlos personally. Caryn Ann's goal is to provide information on items of interest and (sometimes) controversy about the Libertarian Party and minor parties in general not to necessarily endorse the contents.

50 thoughts on “Chuck Moulton Reports LP.org Website Transition has 83% Data Loss

  1. Stewart Flood

    Many of the lost pages are from this year. We seem to have an interesting, but selective memory.

  2. Thomas Knapp

    Apart from the web site, I do hope that the LNC will take the opportunity in this coming term to get rid of that idiotic looking banana peel and go back to a real logo.

  3. Matt

    I wasn’t a big fan of the new logo, but it doesn’t bother me nearly as much after some getting used to. It was still a waste of time at best, though. The new website, particularly at the most critical possible time, is actually actively hurting the party, especially with the load times, lack of previously available information, and all the 404 errors hurting the site’s search rankings and credibility.

  4. Thomas Knapp

    Matt,

    It’s not so much that the new logo is memorable only for being incredibly ugly and uncommunicative of any information whatsoever, although that’s true. It’s also that the new logo replaced more than 40 years of insanely great branding. The Statue of Liberty was instantly recognizable and, to the extent that the LP was known by people, closely tied to it in imagery.

  5. Andy

    “Thomas Knapp
    November 7, 2016 at 18:20
    Matt,

    It’s not so much that the new logo is memorable only for being incredibly ugly and uncommunicative of any information whatsoever, although that’s true. It’s also that the new logo replaced more than 40 years of insanely great branding. The Statue of Liberty was instantly recognizable and, to the extent that the LP was known by people, closely tied to it in imagery.”

    Funny how so much time, effort, and money has been put into the party logo over the last year or two, and this has not brought in even one new member, or gotten one Libertarian elected to office, yet there are far more important issues on which party members could focus, such as breaking open access to venues that carry public foot traffic, so that when the Libertarian Party does petition or voter registration drives, the people out gathering the signatures do not get harassed, threatened, and run off, by the police, security guards, and/or venue managers, which is one of the primary reasons that ballot access drives fail and/or run over cost, thus causing LP candidates to fail to make the ballot, and costing the party more money than it would have to spend otherwise, yet hardly anybody even tries to do anything to address this problem.

    Who gives a rat’s ass about what the freaking logo is? There was nothing wrong with the previous logo. How about solve some real problems and build the party, and after you have made some progress with this stuff, THEN focus on more trivial issues like the party logo?

  6. Matt

    I’m not a fan of the new logo and colors, but that’s trivial compared with website functionality.

  7. Austin Cassidy

    Fixing the website is a huge issue. But the color scheme and logo of the party say something, and the old colors were far more welcoming and, as Tom notes, descriptive of the party’s liberty message.

    The whole site, and the marketing materials, have gone downhill in the last few years. In a few hours I’m going to go put up some signs around my local precincts. The signs have 3 or 4 different fonts, the gray and yellow colors. It’s not visually appealing and looks amateurish.

    It’s not the most important issue in the world, but it is important.

    The LP must have sent me 5 of these yellow and gray bumperstickers and I never put one on my car because they look like shit.

  8. Austin Cassidy

    There’s simple fixes that could be done to the website right now by a relative amateur. If I had access for 5 minutes.

    Don’t use PNG images with transparent backgrounds as featured images — the newspaper logos current on there could be reuploaded with white backgrounds as JPGs.

    Also, every story’s author is LBP_Manager… it’s incredibly easy to make that something less weird or the remove it from the page entirely.

    There’s pages with dark gray text on light gray background! WTF? When did the party fall so deeply in love with the color gray? Complimented by an ugly shade of yellow? Is someone a huge fan of Robert E. Lee or something?

  9. Stewart Flood

    As I said in a previous thread: throw it out and start over. The site sucks, from a technical standpoint to the design and even the content. It sucks.

  10. Michael H. Wilson

    The issue section of the website also needs to be improved. I have been told that few people even look at the issues section but if we are going to have one at least put some details in and add a few more important issues. If you ask for some help in writing about the issues I am sure you will get a few volunteers. I think I can say for many others that we are here and we will help.

  11. Chuck Moulton

    Here are our statewide candidates in Pennsylvania:
    https://www.lp.org/candidates/edward-clifford/
    https://www.lp.org/candidates/james-babb/
    https://www.lp.org/candidates/roy-minet/

    See all that great information that helped me vote today?

    LP logo, check.
    Name, check.
    Office NOT LISTED.
    Picture NOT LISTED.
    Biography NOT LISTED.
    Issues NOT LISTED
    Website NOT LISTED.
    Facebook NOT LISTED.
    Twitter NOT LISTED.
    Contact info NOT LISTED.

    What a clusterfuck…

    I reiterate: whatever moron decided to transition to a new website 2 weeks before the election (horribly) should be immediately fired or removed from office for cause.

  12. Stewart Flood

    Chuck,

    Be reasonable! The majority of the LNC wanted this, so the majority of the LNC isn’t going to “immediately” fire themselves! The roll call of votes on every motion related to the website needs to be highlighted in the voting record handout at the 2018 convention. That’s the only way to remove them from office.

  13. paulie

    The majority of the LNC learned about the timing of the rollout after it happened. Ludlow says that decision was his alone.

  14. Austin Cassidy

    “The majority of the LNC learned about the timing of the rollout after it happened. Ludlow says that decision was his alone.”

    In that case, Ludlow’s gotta go. And the site has gotta go.

    It’s slow to a crawl right now, probably feeling the peak of election day traffic.

  15. Austin Cassidy

    BTW, I put up a bunch of the LP’s yard signs for Gary Johnson last night. Drove by my polling place and sign locations today and they’re virtually invisible in the sunlight from a moving vehicle.

    Yellow on gray? INCREDIBLY DUMB.

    I should have bought more of the official blue ones from the campaign, at least they’re not f*cking invisible.

  16. Stewart Flood

    Ludlow may have made the decision, but several of us (myself included) tried to warn them when they were considering the project. There are several LNC members who bear the responsibility of pushing the others to approve this project. It should never have been done in an election year.

  17. Thomas Knapp

    Stewart,

    Not only should it not have been done in an election year, but Ludlow’s specific proposal for the new site’s character — which is what we’re seeing implemented — would have been a bad idea no matter when it was done.

    If I am not mistaken, you said so yourself at the time. So did Chuck. So did I.

    It’s just a shockingly bad web site in every respect. If I was a conspiracy theorist, I might be wondering whether it was the RNC or the DNC which infiltrated Ludlow into position to completely wreck the LP’s web presence at a key moment, and how much they paid him to do it.

  18. Stewart Flood

    I did say that. I said it sounded like a proposal, even if it were not an election year.

    Look at the LNC votes. We need to keep these at-large members off the committee in 2018.

  19. Melinda Pillsbury-Foster

    George always gets right to the point. The LP is broken. Either fix it or replace it. Now.

  20. Chuck Moulton

    I didn’t and don’t have a problem with a new website — as lobg as the transition is done right: with minimum downtime and no loss of content or functionality.

    Ludlow seems to think that “millenials” value flashy graphics above all else. In my admittedly anecdotal experience dealing with “millenials” — and many other age demographics — he’s dead wrong about that. “Millenials” and others want CONTENT. Maybe they expect a pretty package too, but when you ditch the content for window dressing you put the cart before the horse and make a useless site. It’s classic O. Henry “The Gift of the Magi”… we trade all of our content for flashy graphics that are useless with no content.

  21. Caryn Ann Harlos

    I was not on the LNC at the time, and as a member vocally opposed a good deal what I am vocally opposing now as an LNC member. I was basically told to shut up by an alternate. I will not.

    This is Moulton’s supplement:

    LNC members,

    I want to follow up on this point. I was just looking at 404 errors before. In fact, the problem is much, much, much, much worse.

    The candidate listings that do exist (are not 404 errors, were properly redirected) are mostly just stubs that include only their names.

    These are our statewide candidates in Pennsylvania:
    https://www.lp.org/candidates/edward-clifford/
    https://www.lp.org/candidates/james-babb/
    https://www.lp.org/candidates/roy-minet/

    It might be hard to tell they are our statewide candidates because their listings include only the following information:
    * LP logo
    * Name

    Their listings DO NOT INCLUDE any of the following information:
    * State
    * Office/district
    * Picture
    * Biography
    * Website link
    * Facebook
    * Twitter
    * Contact info

    If you think this problem is limited to states with less political connections, you are wrong.

    Here are a few listings from people running very active campaigns:
    https://www.lp.org/candidates/aaron-starr/
    https://www.lp.org/candidates/arvin-vohra/
    https://www.lp.org/candidates/lily-tang-williams/

    (Disclosure note: I donated to Aaron Starr’s campaign.)

    Here are a few other candidates you may recognize:
    https://www.lp.org/candidates/norm-olsen/
    https://www.lp.org/candidates/roland-riemers/ (404 error)
    https://www.lp.org/candidates/patrick-mcknight/

    Here is one of the few candidate pages with actual information:
    https://www.lp.org/candidates/mark-miller/

    Note that even that trails off at the end… “As an experienced PhD petroleum engineer and former UT petroleum engineering faculty member, he will undoubtedly be the most qualified candidate on the November 201”. Also the Facebook and Twitter links are broken. And it doesn’t mention what office he is seeking. Nice that the LNC donated thousands of dollars to his campaign… too bad no one bothered to spend 5 minutes fixing the errors in his candidate listing.

    Of course, his old page does not redirect:
    https://www.lp.org/candidates/liberty-candidates-16/mark-a-miller/

    John Moore is a 404 page:
    https://www.lp.org/candidates/elected-official/john-moore/
    https://www.lp.org/candidates/liberty-candidates-16/john-moore/
    https://www.lp.org/candidates/john-moore/

    As is Laura Ebke:
    https://www.lp.org/candidates/elected-official/laura-ebke/

    TODAY IS ELECTION DAY. What a wasted opportunity!!!

    Maybe if we hadn’t shut down our working website 2 weeks before the election and replaced it with a buggy new website with 83% data loss and long load times (using a lot of precious staff time at their busiest period), we could have listed and promoted some of our candidates.

    Please, please, PLEASE exercise some actual oversight as a board and do something about the critical and embarrassing error torpedoing one of our greatest assets (on the eve of the election): our national lp.org website.

    I’ve received feedback asking me if I was being over the top or facetious suggesting someone should be FIRED or REMOVED FROM THE LNC over this. I was not. I am completely serious. What was done to the website goes beyond a harmless error. It goes beyond reckless. It was NEGLIGENT. Someone should be held accountable for all the damage that has been done to the Libertarian Party — an organization we all have poured time and money into for decades hoping to see it succeed.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Chuck Moulton
    Life Member & Monthly Pledger, Libertarian Party

    P.S. I voted proudly for Gary Johnson and the other Libertarians on the Pennsylvania ballot today.

  22. Caryn Ann Harlos

    I have a little bitchiest here. I see all these complaints for heads. With the exception of Chuck, very little feedback is ever given to the LNC, and precious little when someone is doing something right. Has the LNC received any feedback to the attempted silencing of me by another member? Not that I have seen.

    Calling for heads is well and good. Supporting when some or all do what is right is even better.

  23. Stewart Flood

    I sent a lot of feedback. Unfortunately, the chair of the IT committee chose to not report my comments. Go back to the spring when we discussed this after the LNC voted to change the site. Unfortunately, I and several others correctly predicted what would happen. But now it turns out to be actually WORSE than we predicted!

    I’m calling for heads in 2018, which is when we have the opportunity. Ludlow is not on the LNC, so he can’t be removed.

  24. Thomas Knapp

    “Has the LNC received any feedback to the attempted silencing of me by another member? Not that I have seen.”

    Please elaborate. I’ve heard nothing about this.

    “With the exception of Chuck, very little feedback is ever given to the LNC, and precious little when someone is doing something right.”

    With the exception of Chuck?

    Fuck you.

  25. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Wow Tom I am referring to emails. I have never received one from you that is an official communication to the LNC. Chuck writes. Regularly. You sure have a short temper tonight.

    And elaborate? Anyone following the LNC List over the past couple weeks would know. The Chair of the IT Committee and alternate has pretty much told me I am harassing volunteers and I should be quiet.

  26. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Stewart, that is before my time. I believe you. I sent a lot of objections myself. And complained very loudly here.

  27. Thomas L. Knapp

    Caryn Ann,

    When I communicate officially to the LNC, it is to my regional rep, not someone else’s.

    Why in God’s name would I have been following the LNC list for the last couple of weeks? There’s an election going on. But anyone telling you to shut up is out of line.

  28. Caryn Ann Harlos

    There are a few people who write me personally regularly. Since those communications are personal, I am not going to say who. But if you want to get heard by the LNC, you have to write. Those emails get re-posted to the list. And I got little to know support when Alicia was debating against having members write.

    The involvement o the membership is very low. And that is why the membership often gets ignored. That is just reality.

    Very few LNC members read IPR. Even less read our FB comments. If you want to be heard, you have to write. I have an email block of the addresses copied I can share. (I think there should be a one-button “write to all” on the web page but that is another topic)

  29. Caryn Ann Harlos

    ===Caryn Ann,

    When I communicate officially to the LNC, it is to my regional rep, not someone else’s.==

    Copy everyone. You may get more support. I share important issues with my region (I communicate a GREAT DEAL with my region) and you may have allies there. I would love to see what you are asking your regional. Region 1 may wish to join in.

    ==Why in God’s name would I have been following the LNC list for the last couple of weeks? There’s an election going on. But anyone telling you to shut up is out of line.==

    Because important shit goes on. It is vitally important that we are watched like hawks by members.

  30. paulie

    The involvement o the membership is very low. And that is why the membership often gets ignored. That is just reality.

    From my experience both as an outside observer and a past alternate on the LNC the membership gets ignored whether we write or not. The LNC seems to generally take those copy all emails as more of an annoyance than anything else, with the exception of a few members such as Starchild, you, and me when I was on there; but I haven’t had the sense that any LNC votes were materially changed by outside input.

    Nevertheless I do email LNC from time to time – as you know since I copy you on some of that. I also talk to a few of them on the phone from time to time. I try not to over do it because I have a general tendency to overdo things once I get on a roll. I figure if I wanted the LNC to hear from me every day I should have run again.

  31. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Paulie, there are some members for whom it makes a difference. It certainly does to me, and I can name about five others. It matters. Even if it only matters to give moral support to those who doing what you believe is correct.

  32. Chuck Moulton

    Caryn Ann Harlos wrote:

    Chuck writes. Regularly.

    I’d rather not write so regularly.

    I have a lot of strong opinions coupled with knowledge and skills across a wide range of disciplines. I could chime in on practically everything.

    I try to hold my tongue. Historically I have emailed the entire LNC only once or twice a year — in part picking my battles so I don’t get written off as a nag and so the things I focus on have more impact. I am more prolific in IPR comments, but even then spare you all most of my opinions.

    I’ve only written more this year because the sheer insanity of the website debacle demands more forceful feedback.

  33. paulie

    I can name about five others

    Let me know which ones, either here or privately. I’d rather not write the whole committee more than every once in a while but I can communicate more regularly with those who are into it.

  34. Caryn Ann Harlos

    I don’t mind saying publicly.

    But I don’t want to miss anyone so I ask other LNC members to chime in.

    Me, Starchild, Demarest, McKnight, Hayes

    Others may weight member input highly but are not as vocal about it. My inclusion of the above is not meant to disparage anyone else.

    I welcome feedback. As much as possible.

  35. Michael H. Wilson

    Caryn back in about 2006 I started writing the LNC about problems with the issues section of the website. A few people were polite enough to reply. That did not include the then Executive Director. I wrote on this issue for a few years but little in the way of change happened. I am still concerned about the poor quality of the issues but mostly I have found better ways to use my time. I long ago quit writing to the regional reps, chairs, and officers of the LP. I will give you and Nicholas Sarwark credit for replying when I write.

  36. Jill Pyeatt

    Caryn Ann said: “With the exception of Chuck, very little feedback is ever given to the LNC, and precious little when someone is doing something right.”

    I have written to our new rep, Jeff Hewitt, a couple times, although he has yet to respond. He has only been our rep since April, though. Our previous rep, Dan Weiner, rarely responded, but he and I weren’t always buddies.

    I would always approach my rep before I wrote to the entire LNC, although there might possibly be an exception one day, I suppose.

    I will share with you that I was so stunned at how awful people were to Ludlow the first few days of the new site’s launching that I felt compelled to send him a personal email thanking him for what he had done so far and encouraging him to work through the problems one and one until they were resolved.

    In my profession, we often need to pass along bad news to people. I always explain to my new employees that there are many ways they can say something. Sometimes what is said sounds awful, but sometimes the same message can be portrayed in a much more tolerable manner. Obviously, our goal is always to be in the latter category.. I’m certainly not pleasant to everyone here, although I try to be and I often apologize if I think I’ve been out of line.

    Just sharing a bit of my life experience.

  37. Caryn Ann Harlos

    Jill thank you for writing that note to Kevin. Unlike most people here, I love the overall fresh modern look of the site and Kevin is working his ass off.

    All the positive though does not relieve me of the obligation to point out the bad:

    Not ready to be rolled out- awful timing.

    Lost data that I am not confident will return.

    Purposefully ideological re-branding in masthead.

    Not Bylaws compliant.

    But overall I for one love the look.

  38. dL

    “Unlike most people here, I love the overall fresh modern look of the site and Kevin is working his ass off.”

    The site’s look and feel, its responsiveness on modern devices is fine and professionally done…and long overdue. And I say that as a professional, a front and back end architect in the field of web/app development.

    Timing, Content migration, republican-lite rebranding are another matter…

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