Monday, August 2, 2004

All politics is local, all politics is RSS

Over the weekend, I did a soft launch of the new website for the Naperville Democrats, the local Democratic Party (of which I’m the current chair). The site is built using CivicSpace, the Drupal-based grassroots organizing tool that grew out of DeanSpace. (Regarding the Naperville Democrats site: look & feel still have a bit of polish to be added, when our volunteer graphics person adds her magic. But overall functionality is fairly well settled.)

In any event, one of the elements of CivicSpace is a web-based aggregator. I wanted to seed the aggregator with feeds from political sites, blogs, and hopefully a few campaigns.

That’s when it hit me: every Democratic candidate I’ll vote for in November has an RSS feed. Sure, we know that John Kerry has a blog, which has its own RSS feed. And Barack Obama, who’s got a blog. Then there’s Gloria Andersen, running for US Congress, who has a LiveJournal diary. Rob Freedman, running for Clerk of the Circuit Court, has an RSS feed for the site and he maintains a blog at the site (with its own feed) as well. Mike Kisler is running for County Coroner, whose site publishes an RSS feed for all content. Hiram Wurf is running for County Board, and uses his blog to talk directly to potential voters (great article about how blogs can change the nature of local races is here). There are other candidates nearby — Christine Cegelis is running for Congress, who maintains her site in MT, including some non-blog portions — who also have feeds.

(Disclosure: I maintain the Obama blog. And I set up the sites for Rob, Hiram and Christine.)

Even more interesting? Of the seven candidates mentioned, four different applications are being used to generate these feeds. Kerry, Hiram, Christine and Barack are using Movable Type. Rob’s using Drupal. Gloria uses LiveJournal. Mike Kisler’s using e107.

How many other areas can boast RSS feeds for every candidate from County Board all the way up to President?


  1. OK, Rick. Its a challenge. We're working on modernizing the site for local state assembly candidate Ira Ruskin here in San Mateo County...

    Considering civicspace and music for america are both headquartered locally, we should be that locality with RSS to the top...

  2. All politics is RSS

    Preach it, Rick! Too bad the candidates that I vote for in Canada don't have blogs and RSS feeds. Working on it! From tins ::: Rick Klau's weblog: All politics is local, all politics is RSS: QUOTEThat’s when it hit...