We're very pleased to announce that Sunlight grantee Capitol News Connection is launching today a new interactive and customizable widget that lets YOU be the journalist -- and hold power to account! You decide what you want to ask members of Congress and presidential candidates, see what other people are asking about, and vote on the questions you think are most important. CNC's award-winning public radio journalists will track down lawmakers and candidates on the campaign trail -- and get the answers you demand. Then, you can listen, comment, share and even embed the audio on your site. This is very cool.
Those using the widget include CNC public radio stations, public television sites, bloggers and social networking sites. To get the widget just go to www.askyourlawmaker.org/widget. Select the customization options you want -- you can display questions or answers -- by topic or state. You can listen and vote within the widget. Try it out -- and help spread the word! We want to get as many questions as possible, and aggregate as many voices as possible around each question: It's hard for a lawmaker to dodge a question asked by, say, 13,952 people in 17 states!
Update: Apparently NPR has taken down the widget from its site, for what may be technical fixes. We trust that will only be temporary.Continue reading
OpenCongress.org is announcing a new widget today called: "Congress, I'm Watching." It's a new tool that lets bloggers, activists, organizations and citizens share a concise summary of any bills in Congress that they are following. We are really excited about this one:
All too often, political blogs and membership groups don't have a good online resource to connect the issues they're discussing to actual bills in Congress. With the new "Congress, I'm Watching" widget, organizations have a timely way of tracking the status of bills and issues that they care about in Congress on their own home pages and online communities of all kinds can encourage collective oversight for what Congress is doing. Political blogs that are tracking specific issues can also use the widget to follow legislation that's near and dear to their heart.
Like all our widgets, it's free to use, customizable, and only takes a minute to put on your website. For an example of how it looks, please see OpenCongress.org's sample.
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.
Insanely Useful Site MAPLight.org is launching an awesome new widget for anyone to put on their blog or Web site. The presidential fundraising widget allows anyone to track fundraising by the presidential contenders while customizing the information to their own personal preference. MAPLight also announced that they are making FEC information available in an API and will soon be launching a widget on "Money and Votes". For now let's look at the presidential fundraising widget. I customized my widget with only long shot candidates like Mike Gravel and Ron Paul (you can make your widget at http://www.maplight.org/widgets):Continue reading
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.