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Tag Archive: Participatory Politics Foundation

Widgets, Blidgets and Nods

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As we recently reported, MAPLight.org and OpenCongress.org recently launched widgets to make it easy for anyone to keep track of the presidential money race, current bills and legislative issues on their site or blog. What good is political information if it's relegated to to just one Web site? As John wrote on the Open House Project blog, widgets and other new forms of data visualization help spread the information further and faster.

There's clear interest in adopting these widgets to surface information about the federal government in new ways and we love some of these early adopters. TechRepublican just recently incorporated the MAPLight.org presidential fundraising widget on its site and NTEN is planning on using
using MAPLight.org's new API
.

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Cool New Features at OpenCongress.org

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The crazy-smart folks at the Participatory Politics Foundation who do all the hard work at OpenCongress.org are ready to show off two new 'widgets.' One is for tracking bills and the second lets you track issues in Congress. The bill tracking widget allows you to display the status of any bill in the Congressional pipeline, as well as link to news and blog coverage of that bill.

The issue widget lets you select from one of more than 4,000 different issue areas, and display either the most recent bills or the most-viewed bills in that issue area for your community. We figure this ought to be pretty useful to folks who follow issues, rather than specific pieces of legislation.

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OpenCongress.org

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Sunlight is launching a new project this morning -- OpenCongress.org -- that we are very excited about. This is is joint effort with the amazing team from the Participatory Politics Foundation -- a group based in Worcester, Mass. that builds open-source software and web tools for civic engagement.

Think of this as a user-friendly Thomas, on steriods. We've brought together critically important information about what is happening in Congress --legislation and issue focused -- and combined that with what bloggers and the mainstream media are most talking about. We've added a component of social wisdom tracking what's hot and what's most-viewed on the site itself, along with what others are writing about. There are lots of links to other Sunlight projects like Congresspedia and Sunlight grantees like OpenSecrets.org. We are aiming to to offer a comprehensive, understandable, user-friendly snapshot of every bill and Member of Congress.

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