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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: 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.”

 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.

 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.

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

 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 A contributor to Campaigns & Elections, Delany writes C&E's Technology Bytes section. Send him a pitch at

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