— I'm hyped about the election process. Seriously hyped. If you asked my family, my girlfriend, my friends, my imaginary friends, and my pet goldfish, they'd tell you that I talk about it pretty much every day and they're ready for me to shut up about it already. Much to the dismay of all the aforementioned people, I have found myself thrust into a project here that has only fueled my polit-intoxication: Politics Widgets that you can embed on your blog, your Facebook account, or any other website for that matter.
Many of you are already familiar with our Candidates + Issues Matrix that allows you to rate your level of satisfaction with the positions of the presidential candidates. Another application that will become increasingly interesting as the primary season heads into Super Tuesday is our Elections '08 Leaderboard. This contest could very easily come down to delegate count if multiple candidates refuse to concede before the end of the race, and totals could change at the drop of a hat due to a certain candidates' efforts reinstate the stripped delegates of Michigan and Florida. Throw in the super delegates and it's anyone's guess where things will end up.
All you have to do is click "Grab It" and you can quickly and easily post this little guy on your blog or website. After any state holds its primary, the data is automatically updated for you so there is no need to constantly re-grab or manually refresh the data. Just think of the action you'll see on this widget come February 5th. I'm positively giddy.
Then there's this one, which you can set to display any candidate + issue combination, including randomized candidates and randomized issues, when the widget is grabbed and embedded to your site. Got a favorite candidate you'd like to promote? Want a way to quickly sum up their stance on an important issue while giving people a chance to voice their opinion on it? Spark off some lively debate with one of these.
I think the point of these widgets ultimately is to allow users to keep tabs on stories and events that they find compelling in a way that fosters greater interaction and community. What sorts of stories and topics, if any, do you find compelling enough to keep track of on your personal sites or communities in this manner? I can easily see how this could be used to keep track of compelling photo galleries, a running tab of video game and movie reviews, finance calculators, the possibilities are endless. What do you think?