Richmond Sunlight, meet blogosphere.

I’ve finally managed to mash up the Virginia blogosphere with Richmond Sunlight. A mention of a member of the General Assembly on a blog now appears on that legislator’s page on Richmond Sunlight. For example, see Sen. Creigh Deeds or Del. Rob Bell, who are my legislators. It works just fine for most legislators, but poor Sen. John Edwards is basically un-googlable at this point. And Del. David Bulova shares a last name with a storied watch maker, so his feed is polluted with some blogspam. But all in all, I think it’s a great new site feature.

Also, legislators with RSS feeds now have their own blog/news included on their page (see Del. Bob Brink or (Del. Brian Moran), and recent mentions in the media are likewise listed (see Del. Morgan Griffith or Sen. William Wampler.

All of this will hopefully increase citizens’ understanding of who legislators are and what they’re up to (giving them greater perspective than than a listing of bills provides), which should be good for everyone.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

9 replies on “Richmond Sunlight, meet blogosphere.”

  1. This is good, especially since the session is about to start. Add to that the intrigue of the coming elections in 2009, and that’s a dog and pony show worth some popcorn.

    On another note, I need to email you about photosynthesis. I was given a list of bills upon registration, and I am having a hard time navigating it. Other than that, it just keeps getting better, and we are in your debt for making it open and transparent and easy for us.

  2. The data comes straight from Technorati, which while very good, is far from perfect — the names of blogs are sometimes missing, sometimes blog entries are listed twice. Mysteriously, Technorati’s RSS feed doesn’t provide the name of some blogs that they aggregate. At the moment, yours is apparently among them.

    Though there’s some code I can write to eliminate duplicates, there’s not much I can do about data that I simply don’t have. I just made a quick change to the code, though, that will display a blog’s domain name when its name isn’t available. So yours shows up as “,” which is better than nothing. :)

  3. I guess I’m having a different issue than Vivian is — there’s a lot about Matt Lohr and Mark Obenshain posted on that isn’t showing up on their feeds. That may be Technorati’s fault.

    But, still very cool. I like all the new features on RS this year. Especially photosynthesis. Thanks for adding that.

  4. I know why it’s showing up twice, then. Technorati has my blog listed twice, once at the new address and once at the old address.

    finnegan – Technorati may not pick up the names from the text of a post. Try putting their names in a Technorati tag.

  5. Actually, finnegan – I just looked at your page on technorati and it is certainly not picking up the content. It will pick up categories (usually) automatically but not stuff within the posts. Either add those names as categories or use a Technorati tag in the post to allow the system to capture them.

  6. For the record, the Technorati query that I use looks for the common name of the legislator (“Matt Lohr,” not “Matthew Lohr”) as a contiguous string (“Matt Lohr,” not “Matt J. Lohr” or “Matt ‘Mr. Rockingham’ Lohr”) with the word “Del” or “Delegate” appearing somewhere on the page, too.

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