from the International Herald Tribune, Tuesday, March 12, 1996 By Brad Spurgeon International Herald Tribune Page: 3 Section: ne Edition: 2 Slug: web.t Web Presidential ElectionsWeb Presidential Elections
Top Stories from the News pages of the International Herald Tribune,
Tuesday, March 12, 1996

Candidates Hurl Themselves Into Cyberspace

There Is Politics Aplenty at Hundreds of Way Stations Across the World Wide Web

By Brad Spurgeon International Herald Tribune
The presidential campaign has invaded the Internet, where everything a politician has to offer can be downloaded, forwarded, listened to, seen and commented on.

Among the nearly 100 easily identifiable sites on the World Wide Web dishing out election news and views, it is hard to find one not in some way advertising its favorite candidate, party or brand of politics.

Each site has enough material to convey the candidate's views on the issues, and at the same time portray the candidate's message in his own Internet way.

Senator Bob Dole's way is technically and visually arresting, while Patrick J. Buchanan's is conservative, in content and appearance.

The White House site is not an official Net site for President Bill Clinton, since it is financed by the taxpayers, but it does get a message across.

There are two basic routes to surfing the elections. The first is to ''point'' a Web browser software at a candidate or party address, by typing in the site address.

Many of the sites will present connections to related sites, and you can swim through the links to your heart's content. But because the Web is made up of millions of sites, a user might get carried off by the surf.

A safer method of navigating the political sites might be to go directly to a site that features a compiled list of political sites. Point Politics, for instance, offers direct links to more than 200 other political sites.

At such a site, a user can simply click a mouse on the name of the particular site and be linked directly, saving the user from having to type in the multiword address known as a URL. Lists such as Point Politics also provide a description and a rating of the political site in question.

General all-purpose presidential election sites, such as ElectionLine are a little like magazines devoted to the election. They may also be used as launching boards to finding further information, and many of them offer articles from newspapers and magazines.

Daring users can call up a powerful Web-wide search engine like AltaVista and type in a search term like ''presidential elections,'' and see how many sites come up.

Unless equipped with the very fastest of modems, users probably will want to pass on transcripts of televised comments, debates or speeches that take longer to download than to read. The same holds for video clips that take longer to download than to view.

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