Announcing UtahPolitics.org


I've recently been giving a lot of thought to the application of information technology to the political process. I think there's a lot that could be done to foster grassroots democracy as well as make campaigns more effective. The Dean campaign is doing some of that. As I looked around the Utah political landscape, I didn't see a place where Utah politics could be easily reported and discussed by regular folks. To that end, I decided to create a weblog called UtahPolitics.org.

For UtahPolitics.org to be successful, it needs not just readers, but writers as well. Ideally the readers are the writers and all I'm doing is providing the technical support and making some broad editorial decisions to keep it from going too far afield.

If you're interested in Utah politics, check it out. Feel free to comment on what's there. If you see a Utah political story that interests you, write it up and submit it. If you'd like a more permanent voice, I'm looking for editors and contributors.

I wanted to run the site on Linux and am more familiar with Perl than PHP or Python. I also needed to support multiple authors and editors. Consequently, I went back and forth between using MovableType or Slashcode. Slash has some nice community building features that I liked, like membership, karma, and member journals (really primitive blogs), but past experiments with it have taught me that its not very intuitive for non-techies. In the end I chose MovableType for simplicity, but I might end up being sorry and wish I had more sophisticated membership tools.