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Public Media Serves Up Election Widgets For Bloggers

by Michael Olson
Aug 7, 2008

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Whatever we now loosely know as Web 2.0 has opened up new opportunities and challenges for campaigns and media entities alike. Media outlets are attempting to navigate a new media landscape with lean budgets and an eye toward identifying new revenue streams. NPR and a group of our public media partners have responded in part (with help from a CPB grant) by creating a variety of election-related widgets that can be added to your blog or Web site. Here is a rundown on some of the gems floating around in the public media universe.

Capitol News Connection's Ask Your Lawmaker lets users vote on what questions CNC reporters should ask members of Congress. Reporters ask the most popular questions and post the responses, which can provide for some rich fodder for your blog. AYL offers a variety of widget options and also allows the posting of individual answers.

KQED's You Decide is an issues-based widget that aims to bring critical thinking to the central policy questions of this election. For example, does the United States spend too much money on defense? Or should the United States adopt a single-payer, universal health care plan? As you respond to the questions you are challenged by an argument that makes the case for the opposing response.

NPR's Get My Vote is an online space where people explain their core political beliefs. It starts with one question: What will it take for a candidate to get your vote? Post your own ideas and/or share postings from other people.

PRX's BallotVox searches for the best of user-generated election content and packages it into these handy widgets for your site. PRX also has a handsome collection of campaign audio from speeches and member station reports.

APM's Budget Hero is a game that encourages players to sift through taxation and spending options available to lawmakers. To win: Stay true to your values while creating a sustainable government. Embed on your Web page. APM also created the Idea Generator, which encourages users to exchange ideas about preserving the American Dream.

Stay tuned: NPR's Election Map has some exciting updates on the way including embeddable code for bloggers.

What is your favorite public media widget this election? What would make it better?

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