User talk:JWilliams

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Revision as of 20:57, 26 March 2013 by JWilliams (Talk | contribs)

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List of ballot measures by topic

Hi Josh, I wanted to introduce you to TomJx, a volunteer editor on the wiki. He has proposed a new idea for the List of ballot measures by topic page. I've noted the proposal below. This sounds like a great idea to me. Maybe the two of you can connect about the details of adding these links. BaileyL 09:28, 7 January 2013 (CST)

I was looking at List of ballot measures by topic and thinking that what's missing is Background information aka External links. Wikipedia, search engines and general directories aren't generally useful for controversial subjects, so I was thinking we might be able to contribute something important here. I don't want to include personal blogs and local advocacy groups, just important, serious sources. For example, LibGuides from universities, legal guides such as Lexis-Nexis, journalist guides, think tanks, and collected news coverage on the topic from the major sources. I went through the orange tabs at this University of Illinois site and found some useful links I hadn't seen elsewhere. Also the Johns Hopkins Center.
Here's an example of what I had in mind to add to a section of Firearms on the ballot as a collection of resources relating to a general issue: Gun Control, and more specific links for a particular state: Iowa "Right to Bear Arms" Amendment (2014)#External links TomJx 21:05, 23 January 2013 (CST)
I think this is a great idea to add general links serious links to the pages. To keep it consistent with the rest of Ballotpedia, let's add it to the bottom of the page as an "External links" section. I have added the link you provided to Firearms on the ballot as an extremely basic example. I am going to suggest we keep state-specific links within the measures they are discussing for the moment. Let me know if you have any more thoughts on this and we flush it out for use on all the topic issue pages. JWilliams 16:17, 26 January 2013 (CST)
I think it would also be helpful to include a Google News section, as many politician articles do. I believe it shows the most recent 10 news stories on the topic. I'm still thinking about subsection names. 'Media coverage' for sure, perhaps 'Research groups', 'LibGuides', 'Advocacy groups'. That last should be limited to major national groups but we probably don't have to mention that in the title. TomJx 11:28, 27 January 2013 (CST):
Hello Again. Sorry for the slow response. Those are some wonderful ideas, and I am working trying to draw up a framework based on them. I will posted again once I have a new example. JWilliams 13:45, 9 February 2013 (CST)
Since you're still busy, I went ahead and created an example at Immigration on the ballot, based on the related discussions at Template talk:LegisLinks. TomJx 13:08, 12 March 2013 (CDT)
Also Minimum wage on the ballot. TomJx

Hi! Just jumping in here. I happen to be on the immigration on the ballot page and saw the links. Wow! that looks great. BaileyL 14:52, 13 March 2013 (CDT)

I concur, they look very good! JWilliams 22:15, 15 March 2013 (CDT)

News feed

Josh, I added newsfeeds to Immigration on the ballot and Minimum wage on the ballot yesterday (before I read that Google is turning off Google Reader in a few months!) but they don't appear to be working. Could you take a look at them? Thanks. TomJx 13:01, 14 March 2013 (CDT)

Hi Tom, One of the things that was holding me up with getting back to you on the project was the news feeds. I have been talking with some others about it, and it seems the RSS feeds take 24 hours to load...when they decide to work. We are looking into changing the RSS extension we use, but it may be a while before anything is done about it. Unfortunately that decision is out of my hands. JWilliams 22:14, 15 March 2013 (CDT)
Based on the dates of the articles in the Immigration feed (March 21, March 12), it appears the feed was simply waiting for a new story. I expected the equivalent of a search on Google News, but that doesn't seem to be what Google is providing. The concept of a newsfeed is good, but I agree an alternative is needed. I'm now testing using the RSS code Google provides, which is slightly different. TomJx 20:56, 20 March 2013 (CDT)
Well, my test was successful. See the results of the second newsfeed in Immigration on the ballot and the coding diff here. I've been making the mistake of copying the code from other Ballotpedia newsfeeds, assuming they had been checked out - I won't do that again! TomJx 14:07, 21 March 2013 (CDT)
Interestingly, I have a test page of potential RSS feeds for the on the ballot pages. They were not working last week, and now they are. I then added a number of new feeds and those were working instantaneously. Regardless, check out the page for news feed topic ideas. JWilliams 11:19, 23 March 2013 (CDT)
As I said, it's the next article which triggers an update - there's no immediate "catch-up" feature for past days. If you don't use the current Google format, you get unpredictable results, such as days with no articles being picked up. I only provided an example to demonstrate the difference in results. TomJx 20:51, 26 March 2013 (CDT)
Understood. Thanks for the info! JWilliams 20:57, 26 March 2013 (CDT)
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