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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin Web Site Seeks New Design

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In need of a web site revamp, President Vladimir Putin has turned to the general public. The Kremlin is running a competition to find the best design for a new presidential homepage.

The contest, which began March 12, is open to everyone — professional web designers as well as amateurs, or simply any Internet user. The only limitation is that competitors should be Russian citizens. The winner will be awarded the title of the author and developer of the presidential site.

"I think the main point of this competition will be to find out what people want to know and see about Putin," said Marina Litvinovich, the general director of Strana.ru, a pro-government web portal.

"With an unprecedented 69 percent of the population supporting Putin, the competition is addressed to his supporters," she said. The deadline for the competition is April 12. However, a source within the presidential press service said the organizers were more likely to look for quality rather than speed, adding that if no brilliant solutions are offered by the deadline, it would simply be moved to a further date. The final choice will be up to a jury, the exact composition of which is yet to be announced. Litvinovich said the conditions of the competition are still being verified. She also said the competition is likely to become the first of its kind in the world. The sites of other world leaders are the creation of state organizations, and private companies play no role at all. "I think it will be largely small web studios from the regions that will participate in the competition. Among Moscow-based web designers there is a degree of snobbishness toward the project," she said.

According to the Kremlin's announcement on the launch of the competition, the idea to give the presidential site a new face struck Putin during the his real-time Internet news conference held March 6.

"I like the [presidential] site, but I accept that it could be done better," Putin said in response to a question that implied his page should become the flagship Internet project in Russia.

Presidential press secretary Alexei Gromov said in a recent interview that the competitors should understand that some symbols of presidential power are a must on the presidential web page — those include the code of arms and the flag of the Russian Federation.

The site should also be practical and informative and include the latest news as well as sufficient information about the president, his life and work.

Gromov, for example, pointed out the that on the official web page of U.S. President George W. Bush visitors are offered a tour around the White House. According to Gromov, such features like showing the presidential workplace and home could appear on the Russian president's homepage.

If someone were to follow the American example, the president's site could also acquire a snapshot of Putin's white toy poodle, Tosya, or get a sub-page specially designed for kids.

Putin's current site (president.kremlin.ru) was launched about a year ago. No external help was sought for the launch of the site, which was produced by the presidential administration and staff from Federal Agency of Government Communication and Information. The site is simple in design and content and not very extensive.

http://president.kremlin.ru/ The current presidential site.

http://strana.ru Strana.ru