Sunday, December 09, 2007


Your humble Devil apologises for the lack of blogging, but he has been extremely busy. I have, amongst other things, spent an inordinate amount of time hunting down the websites of blogging MPs and then processing the RSS feeds.

This has all been in aid of WebCommons, a site that gathers together the RSS feeds of blogging MPs so that those interested can easily see what our elected representatives are concerned about. The site also collates a number of thinktank feeds, and the RSS feeds of sites such as ConservativeHome, LabourHome and LibDem Voice.

Mike Rouse posted about this a few days ago.
The most exciting development, launching soon, is WebCommons, which is all going rather well. We have a handful of fans on our Facebook Page already and have an alpha version uploaded to the website. Over coming months we’re going to be coding the beta version in Ruby on Rails and deploy some pretty advanced and fancy features.

We’ve had great support for the project thus far, even on a cross-party basis. Relationships are building well and we’re getting lots of feedback on the alpha version, which is just what we wanted.

We’re launching the alpha version on Monday and work on the beta version has started already. We’re in talks with a number of political and media figures for future features.

The Wardman Wire also picked up on WebCommons a couple of days ago.
The Webcommons project interests me. “Commons” refers to “House of Commons” not to Commons as in “Wikimedia Commons“.

It is an embyronic political news site, with potential for other services to be added.

If I were to put an interpretation on the business objective, I would describe it as "Messagespace parking its tanks on EPolitix' Lawn", creating a platform to compete with them in further areas.

The project has been on the stocks since at least September 14th (judging by the content of the Google cache.)

I wonder how they will get on competing with “web commons” in the search engines.

2008 should be interesting.

Indeed so. We hope that the site will be a useful resource and we would welcome the submission of the RSS feeds for any MPs that we might have missed (some MPs have sites but, unfortunately, there is no RSS feed or, in the case of a couple of them, the RSS link is broken or undetectable). We will, of course, be tracking down as many as we can ourselves, but help is always appreciated.

We have made a couple of blog buttons—you may have noticed one in my right sidebar—which you can get the code for here.

WebCommons is just one of a number of projects that Mike and I are working on: we hope to bring you news of others fairly soon.

In the meantime, I shall start catching up on some of the highly amusing things that have been happening and commenting in my usual caustic way...

UPDATE: Mike elaborates on our plans for the future.


Anonymous said...

This Web Commons looks interesting, I may use your combined rss feed for my MP Info site.

Machiavelli's Understudy said...

It'll be really interesting to see how the site develops. I suspect there's room for it to develop in to something more than a clearing house of RSS feeds, if it's going to be so content-rich.

Have you thought about adding candidates' feeds, too?

Anonymous said...

I like your site. Very nice. We've just started up our own and I like getting ideas when I can.

Mark Wadsworth said...

That Webcommons doesn't work. Adam Price (from 'Plaid Cymru') apparently said "efer margaret hodge neur yn r jones ond bod gyn dri mae ail" which looks like gibberish to me.

Unknown said...

Fucking brilliant. Nice work.

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