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Saturday, 19 September 2009

Introducing 'lifestream': UK MP's website breaks new ground

LibDem MP Lynne Featherstone is the party's lead on web stuff and so she should be - she's had a blog since 2003 and has fed it practically everyday since. Lynne even credits her election victory to her strong online presence and use of it as an organising tool.

When she came to updating her website she chose Simon Dickson of Puffbox, the man responsible for many website transformations including Number Ten's.

For her site Dickson has done something entirely new and - I think - brilliant. Called a 'lifestream' it brings together all the flotsum and jetsum of Lynne's online life in one place - her site.

Says Dickson:
So the grand concept of the site is the use of a tabbed 'lifestream' as the homepage. The initial view lists her last 10 actions, no matter where they happened - including Early Day Motion signatures, which required me to write my own scraper. Then, if you want to see her activity on one of those specific areas, you just click the appropriate tab. It's all driven by RSS; the tabs are powered by ajax; the lists are generated by a cron for obvious reasons.

It includes content from:
  • Her blog
  • Hornsey & Wood Green LibDem press releases
  • Her tweets
  • Her pictures on Flickr
  • Her in Hansard
  • Early Day Motion signatures
  • Her videos on YouTube
  • Media cuttings about her
So rather than a whole lot of icons you click through to find content this brings it all together. As I said, brilliant. And just maybe a first?

(Just not sure about the name 'lifestream', only I can't think of anything better).

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