Evolution of Fred Thompson’s Red Truck

by Sean Hackbarth

Fred Thompson Flash Red Truck

Todd Bivings one of the web development gurus who helped keep Fred Thompson’s website alive offers a brief history about the birth of the red truck real time fundraising counter. It’s an example that sometimes good design doesn’t mean squat.

I don’t recall getting complaints from FredHeads or campaign staff. I know the web team joked around about how plain the flash looked, but it was doing its job encouraging supporters to donate to the Thompson campaign.

Todd writes,

The power was in the idea and the timing (which is always vital with these things), not in how professionally it was implemented. This was definitely a case that proves the old George Patton quote: “A good plan violently executed right now is far better than a perfect plan executed next week.”

The biggest problem was the counter wasn’t working properly. The campaign web site was hosted on multiple servers, and our server host had trouble throughout the campaign keeping all the needed databases coordinated. So if you hit the refresh button on your browser you could see the fundraising total go up, down, or do nothing at all. It all depended on what server the flash piece was pulling data from.

But it still worked. Without it I doubt Thompson would have had the funds to complete in Iowa and South Carolina.

“Does Good Design Matter? An Anecdote from the Thompson Campaign” [via TechRepublican]

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3 Responses to “Evolution of Fred Thompson’s Red Truck”


Why this blast from the past? That truck was getting more donations after SC primaries.


FredHeads(true conservatives) are still on the move……


Rayman, I’m pretty sure you’re wrong. After SC when it looked like Thompson was going to drop out the donations fell off considerably. I’ll try to dig up the numbers.


more donations was worded wrong, really meant still getting

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