Saturday, May 26, 2007

New Election technologies

Wow - while we at TechPresident get completely wrapped up in the drama of the US presidential race, and get excited when, say, Faceboook opens up its API to allow third-party application (it is so cool), there's an election going on in Ireland (did you know that?). A group of Irish bloggers have been blogging it at Irish Election, and now that the election is here, they've constructed a truly wonderful toolbox with which to conduct on-the-ground coverage. In addition to updates on poll numbers and results from across the country over the last 24 hour, they've been using mobile technology to great effect. Sitting in the sidebar are two mini-apps -- MySay and Rumour Mill -- that let citizens and bloggers add their comments to the election process using audio and text. MySay let's you add audio comments, called "snippets," to a thread that looks like a Twitter feed, but with a play button that, when clicked, plays the snippet. The Rumour Mill is a text-message thread that you add to by sending messages to a shortcode. These are simple apps that have been around for a while, but when combined with the citizen-blogging happening on the same page,they provide an amazing look at the election from citizens and non-officials across the country. Disclaimer: I'm a complete stranger to Irish politics and vernacular, which means that I pretty much have no idea what anyone is talking about.


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