After reading the article about a News Mixer prototype site I was impressed initially. I thought that I could finally have a way to comment in one place for my news. However, it was not quite what I expected and I thought that there was definately mixed results for me upon reviewal.
For one thing I assumed that it would cover a few different major news sites to comment on – but it was just one site covering news in Eastern Iowa. So it was not exactly a useful tool for someone like me living in Seattle.
Another issue I had with their site was that they promoted having such an advanced way of commenting that I was dissipointed to discover that they only had three different ways to comment. I understand they may have done this for simplicities sake, but there have to be other options for users to comment other than just letters to the editor, quips and questions and answers. Perhaps they could categorize even more – basically give us users a few more options.
My last issue was the limitations of only being able to connect with facebook to comment there as well. I would have liked at least to have a wordpress/blog option (which hopefully will be coming soon). Also there was no inclusion of a way to share a media clip to demonstrate a point in commentary. I would have really liked this option as well.
Overall, mixed results with the initial implementation – but the idea I really liked. The makers of this site just need to include all the options that we take for granted on other more highly developed sites while still keeping things simple enough for the average user to understand.
The second article was so interesting I found myself following links to follow the money and then later to a punch clock campaign (having congressmen post their work schedules for the previous day). It just amazed me that all this information was ready for me to evaluate. I was hoping that there was more information about the distribution of funds from different lobbyists to particular politicians. It seemed that they had more general numbers – which was helpful…but I would have liked more.
1) What are some of your favorite sites to check up on the politicians?
2) What are some ways that the News Mix prototype can improve? What features are missing?