Beyond Twitter and Blogging

This was originally posted on Stop Hs2 on January 12th 2011.

At the netroots UK conference on Saturday, I went to the “Beyond Twitter & blogging” workshop, a review of existing on-line tools for use in political campaigns.

The first tool discussed was ushahidi, which can be used for geographical data applications. It was used after the Haiti Earthquake, and is now being used for mapping reports during the flooding in Queensland. In the UK it is being used to gather information about spending cuts: could you work out a way of using it to gather information about HS2?

Google alerts will monitor the web or specific websites for terms of particular interest to you, and send you an email when one appears.

Mysociety.org produces several different democracy websites.

Theyworkforyou.com monitors what your MP is doing, and also has an email alert service.

Writetothem.com is an easy means of sending emails to MPs, and will also monitor to ensure that people aren’t sending emails with duplicate text.

Whatdotheyknow.com helps you make Freedom of Information requests, and publishes the data online.

Whoslobbying.com monititors the groups having the most meetings with ministers.

Cablegategame.com is an interactive online game, giving you points when you identify certain types of data, such as names, within the wikileaks data.

Electionleaflets.org has a database of election leaflets, matched to postcode. You can check whether your own MP is keeping to their promises – assuming that someone sent them a scan of the election leaflets.

Openlylocal.com records county council spending on different companies.

Wheredoesmymoneygo.org records spending by central government.

Most of these websites rely on the enthusiasm of volunteers to produce the tools and to input the data. Please check the “get involved” links on the different sites.

If you use any of these tools to find out information about HS2, why not comment below or let us know. If you could write an article for the website, we’d be extra grateful.

Edited to add: UK Members of Parliament, 2010 – 2015, Listed in order of majority

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