We’ve talked to a couple more people about that Request-for-Proposal sent out by Michael Steele’s RNC, looking for a consultant to redesign the organization’s website.
And if there were any doubt before about the fact the document is embarrassingly sketchy and vague for a project of this kind, there’s isn’t now.
“It’s really hard to write a proposal for that vague of a request,” Jennifer Kyrnin, who has been designing web sites since 1995, and teaching web design since 1997, and who frequently responds to RFP’s for web design work, told TPMmuckraker.
Kyrnin allowed that she had received RFP’s as vague as this one, but never from a company or organization as prominent as the GOP. “Most are from new small businesses who’ve never put up a site before,” she said.
Kyrnin flagged several obvious weak spots in the RFP.
Citing the RNC’s view that “an aesthetically pleasing site that is intuitive and fun to use should be the overall goal,” she said: “Well, yeah. I mean, that’s what everybody wants.”
As for the RNC’s advice that it want someone with “experience in building social networks,” Kyrnin said: “That, I look at and I go, ‘what the heck do you mean?’ If I were writing a proposal that would make me nervous.”
The RFP, which surfaced Friday and appears to have been sent out shortly before, calls for bids to be submitted by March 18. Kyrnin called that deadline “very short.”
“Most of the companies that are large give at least a month,” she added. “If they’re asking for it a week from Wednesday, you get the quality that you can expect from a rapidly written proposal.”
Kyrnin said that if she were to receive this RFP, her response would be to request more detailed instructions before submitting a bid. But given the fast-approaching deadline, she said she wouldn’t expect to get a response.
Micah Sifry, a founder of the Personal Democracy Forum, which focuses on the intersection of technology and politics, and whose site was among the first to highlight the RFP Monday, agreed. He called the document “at best a back of the envelope vision statement that you give to someone to write an RFP.”
“This is every consultant’s nightmare,” said Sifry, who, like Kyrnin, has worked regularly with such RFP’s for web design. “They have no idea what they’re asking for.”
Conservtive blogger Dale Franks, who, as we noted earlier, says he responds to web design RFP’s for a living, has already offered his own point-by-point rundown on the “confusion and idiocy” of the document.
And Red State’s Erick Erickson was so appalled that he suggested the RNC may already have decided to give the contract to a favored firm, and had sent out the RFP merely to cover its bases.