I made a thing.
On Sunday I mentioned how OpenTech always makes me feel a bit embarrassed that I’m not doing more useful stuff – particularly in the kinds of areas that OpenTech speakers care about.
Usually, real life takes over before I get a chance to do anything about it and I forget about my embarrassment until the next OpenTech. This year, I managed to harness my embarrassment and actually do something productive.
It’s not like I built anything from scratch. This is is really just me finally shipping something that I’ve been working on (off and on – more off than on) for almost five years. I built the first prototype at a hack day in 2008. I even wrote about it at the time.
The Political Web is a site that is intended to be a one-stop-shop for finding out information about British MPs. Currently each MP has a page which lists a number of standard web pages that contain information about the MP (Wikipedia, The Guardian, TheyWorkForYou – things like that). Of course each MP also has a number of non-standard pages on the internet (an official web site, a blog, perhaps a Twitter account) and adding those is going to be a harder job.
Previously two things have stopped me launching this. One was the fact that I wanted to support those all of those other sources of information. But I’ve decided to go for a “minimum viable product” approach and show you what I’ve already got. The other thing that prevented me talking about it much was that I thought I’d need someone to make it look nice (my web design skills are horrible). But the arrival of Bootstrap means that even a design ignoramus like me can build a site that looks more than half-decent.
So there you go. It’s there for you to play with. And there will (hopefully) be more coming soon. Please let me know if you find it useful.