UtahPolitics.org All Over the Web: A Kynetx App


Utah Politics Tweeter App

Since 2003, I've been running a site called UtahPolitics.org. The site started off as a blog on which I and others posted articles. When I started UtahPolitics.org there was some speculation about my motives. But my motives are simple: create a place I can experiment with new media in an arena that interests me.

Last year, in an effort to continue the experiment, I put up a retweeter for UtahPolitics.org that would retweet any tweet from friends of the @utahpolitics account that contained the tag #utpol. When I did that I also morphed the web site--imperfectly--to a site that just aggregated those tweets. The idea was to move the discussion off of UtahPolitics.org and onto Twitter.

The problem with this is that it's sometimes difficult to follow the thread of a conversation, particularly those about particular pages on the Web. To try to solve that problem, I've build a Kynetx app that will show all the #utpol tweets about page on that page when you visit it. Here's a picture to show you what I mean:

UtahPolitics.org app running on a legislative page

The box on the right is showing any tweets that reference the page its on and contain the tag #utpol. Right now it's tweets by anyone. If that gets to be a problem, I'll restrict it to friends of @utahpolitics so that I have a way to block people.

I'm hoping that you'll use this app to follow Utah Politics during the next legislative session and contribute to the Twitter discussion about specific bills or newspaper articles. Using this app and your Twitter account, you can comment on legislative pages, newspaper pages, and so on. Anyone else who has the app will see your tweets and be able to respond on the page.

You can use this app in one of three ways:

  1. Download the AzigoLite Card selector and install the Utah Politics card - this is the most flexible solution since once you have the card selector installed, you can also use other Kynetx apps without any further downloads. Just install the card and go.
  2. Install a browser extension - this is probably the fastest and most convinient way to get going. Just download the right extension for the browser you want to use (or several if you regularly use more than one browser) and you're good to go. The following extensions are available:
  3. Use a bookmarklet - this is the simplest, but has the drawback of working only when you click on it. You may not always remember to do so and will miss out on people's comments. To use the bookmarket, drag this link to your bookmark bar at the top of your browser
    UtahPolitics Bookmarklet

Once you've got something installed, head on over to House Bill 10 on the Utah Legislature's page to see it in action. I've left some test tweets there.

You don't need to do anything special to use it. Just tweet about a page and include the tag #utpol. All the tweets about a particular page will show up in the app--even from people who don't have it installed. This is an assymetrical communication tool. Note, if there are no tweets about a particular page, you won't see anything--the app doesn't do anything in that case.

If you're interested in how this was made, I've made the source available on the app page. Feel free to ask questions or just copy it and build your own--Kynetx developer accounts are free.

I'm excited to see how this works--I hope it leads to some interesting discussions about Utah politics and gives some insight about how apps like this one--that work on multiple Web sites--can be made more effective.