Online Application for Iranian Parliamentary Candidate Campaign Websites?
December 13, 2003 12:19 AM   Subscribe

We are trying to make a website for potential candidates, Who want to run for the upcoming Parliament elections in Iran, as their campaign website. I'm looking for a free online application which enables us to do that. Do you think an online dating application would be a good tool for this purpose? Have you heard of any free dating application?

Basically we need one profile page for each registered user so he or she can:

- post a few pictures (upload or just post the URL)
- post his/her biography and contact information
- post his/her platform along with brief description
- get unregistered people's comments on his/her platform and be able to edit them
- find out how people evaluate his/her campaign by a simple rating system (0-5 stars for example)

Please note that that the application must be utf-8 (Unicode) friendly.

oh, I forgot a few things:

- security is very important in this project
- we are ok with a PHP/MySQL application
- the look of the website should be easily costumizable, preferably by using templates
- we may have up to 5,000 usres

If you know a good application please but it's not free, don't hesitate to leave a comment .

This project will have a big effect on the Iranian policital atmosphere. This NYTimes article might help you understand why.
posted by hoder to Law & Government (5 answers total)
For PHP/MySQL, the free version of pMachine is easy to set up very quickly, and is also easily customizable. You could add a category for each candidate, and put up that person's profile/platform/photo/whatever, and comments are easy to edit, and everything has user security levels. For $45, the Pro version has an integrated events calendar which might be useful.
posted by planetkyoto at 5:29 AM on December 13, 2003

I'd recommend MovableType for content management, Gallery for the photos, and some simple javascript or PHP scripts to handle the other little features you mentioned.

I've put together this kind of package many times for political candidates, and it works great.
posted by oissubke at 8:17 AM on December 13, 2003

Hoder, this would be an ideal pro bono project in the peace/goodwill/international citizenship genre for the right firm - if you found something that worked but wasn't free, you should make a pitch for a donation.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:25 AM on December 13, 2003

I'd make a cheap bid on it, but I wonder about business restrictions. Would Homeland Security come knocking at my door because I'm "manipulating the Iranian political process"?
posted by oissubke at 9:15 AM on December 13, 2003

Movable Type is a great solution if you have a limited number of registered users, and you have one person who is willing to handle creating accounts for each of them. The interface can be thorougly customized with a little work, and there's a ratings plugin (check out MT Plugins. This is perl-based, not PHP.

I've started playing around with Drupal, which is a more general-purpose CMS for bigger communities. No current ratings feature, AFAIK (but you might be able to hire a PHP programmer to update the outdated one). Something like this would be better if you had a large number of candidates, and couldn't spend a lot of time messing with account maintenance. The design can be customized, and comes with a CSS-based "theme" by default, which would be a good place to start.
posted by adamrice at 5:51 PM on December 13, 2003

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