Not every piece of a campaign’s online territory need be a full-on website; some are microsites designed to propel a particular message—often a negative one—or perform a specific task. Microsites typically have a much tighter focus than a campaign’s main site and are frequently launched in response to trending news.

The 2012 campaign has already featured some notable and entertaining microsites. (Plenty of them are aimed at Mitt Romney.) A sampling of some of the best so far:

FortyFore.com
This is a microsite offering from the Romney campaign. The site tracks President Obama’s golf habit and invites people to “Donate $18 to send [him] on a permanent vacation.”

 

 

 

 

MittVMitt.com
Produced by the Democratic National Committee, it’s “the story of two men trapped in one body,” and it captures the evolution of Mitt Romney’s political positions through then-and-now video clips.

 

 

 

 

WhatMittPays.com
Another DNC site, this one focuses on the low tax rates Romney enjoys thanks to an income derived largely from investments. Interactive feature: it allows readers to compare his rates with those of other taxpayers.

 

 

 

 

RomneyGekko.com  
This microsite was created by outside groups to highlight the Republican’s Wall Street past.

 

 

 

 

AttackWatch.com
This site is a successor to 2008’s “Fight the Smears,” which was an Obama campaign site designed to crowdsource the tracking of criticism of the candidate. It’s derided by conservative commentators as Big-Brotherish.

Colin Delany is founder and editor of the award-winning Epolitics.com. A contributor to Campaigns & Elections, Delany writes C&E's Technology Bytes section. Send him a pitch at cpd@epolitics.com.

Also in Technology Bytes this issue: Campaign websites: the red-headed stepchildren of digital politics.