Liberal Democrats: Flock Together

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Flock Together now shows contact email addresses for meetings to people who aren’t logged in

Sunday, August 12th, 2007

FT now shows contact email addresses for meetings and by-elections to site users who aren’t logged in.

To make things harder for spammers, they’re shown as graphic files rather than text.

If you’re logged in, they’re regular clickable text links as before.

Improvements to Flock Together

Monday, July 30th, 2007

I’ve put a few improvements onto the Flock Together site:

  • It’s now possible to log in to Flock Together using your Liberal Democrats Account – just go to this page to link the two accounts
  • For users that don’t have account or don’t log in, Flock Together now does a much better job of remembering your location and your preferences
  • I’ve added some information to the front page which lets you know what’s happened recently on Flock Together. There’s a fuller version on this page.
  • You can now add a link and a description to your user page (under ‘Your Profile’ in the left hand menu).

That’s it for the moment. Any further comments and suggestions welcome.

Test drive the new 3-column layout for Flock Together

Sunday, April 22nd, 2007

Will Howells been working on an experimental 3 column layout for Flock Together…

To try it out, just log in at the site and then go to

To return to the current default, just go to
If you think you can do better than the proposed 3 column look, or have any other comments or suggested improvements, please let me know or write a comment in the blog.

If you want to develop your own stylesheet, it’s no problem to set individual users up with links to stylesheets hosted anywhere on the internet if you like playing with CSS and would like to develop your own look and feel for the site!

Flock Together now supports the latest local party structure

Sunday, February 18th, 2007

I’ve just updated Flock Together to reflect the party’s latest local party structure.

This has also enabled me to create feeds using the party’s official numbers for local parties.

If you would like to get an RSS feed for your local party using your local party’s ‘official’ number, it’s at:

For example, Winchester is at:

All the other flags for the RSS feed still work as previously posted.

Flock Together supports public transport

Monday, February 12th, 2007

Flock Together events pages now have a link showing you how to get to events anywhere in the country by public transport from your home postcode via the Transport Direct website.

Just look for the section called ‘Travel Details’.

You can have a go at working out your route to Harrogate via or, indeed, almost any other meeting on the site.

Personalised feeds

Friday, February 2nd, 2007

I’ve added some more variables for Flock Together feeds…

The basic feed remains, as before:

Instead of your user name, it’s now possible to reference by membership number or postcode. For example:


does the postcode and range (if you leave out range, it uses 50 miles). And:


does the Liberal Democrat membership number (although this only works for registered users of Flock Together who’ve entered their membership number when they registered).

For registered users who want to publish their feed, it may make sense only to show only meetings that they’ve ‘registered’ on Flock Together. To do this they can add the following onto their URL:


To sort the meetings in order of reverse appearance (i.e. the most ‘recent’ post will be the most immediate upcoming meeting), add:


If you want to show your feed on a Prater Raines site, then the best option is just to add the following to your URL:


Finally, to set the publish date to the meeting date (which may break some feedreaders, since the publish date will be in the future), just add:


Down Time

Monday, January 15th, 2007

Apologies to those of you who wanted to use Flock Together this afternoon. The site (along with all the other sites I host with 1and1) was down for about 6 hours.

Another reason to sort out some new hosting, I suppose.

1,000 people registered – 1,426 meetings, by-elections and resources – 7 new members

Saturday, January 6th, 2007

Congratulations to David Peters for being the 1,000th account on Flock Together.

So far Flock Together has recorded 1,426 meetings, by-election and resources, comprising amongst others: 356 council by-elections, 329 social events, 237 campaigning sessions, 227 organisational meetings, 70 public meetings, 64 policy discussions, 44 conferences, 30 training sessions, 25 hustings, 17 RISOs and 5 parliamentary by-elections.

To make it all work, there’s a table in the background calculating the 1,426,000 different distances between each user and each event or resource!

Aside from the number of people who have found new ways to get involved in the party ‘in the real world’ as a result of Flock Together, here’s a special ‘hat-tip’ to the 7 people visited the Flock Together website and clicked through to joined the party online as a result!

RSS frenzy at Flock Together

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007

I’ve had a bit of an RSS frenzy here at Flock Together.

There are now feeds for:

If you go to the relevant page there are also RSS feeds for organisations and comments on organisations meetings, as per the following examples for Liberal Drinks:

And there are also RSS feeds for individual organisations, such as this one for Federal Conference in the Spring

The organisation feeds and meeting feeds, as well as a personal RSS feed that only tells you about meetings that you are interested in, are displayed on the left hand menu on the relevant meeting or organisation page, or if you have logged in.

Some of the feeds take flags, as shown here for organisations and here for individuals.

Let me know if you would like any further options.

The cost of running Flock Together

Monday, December 11th, 2006

I currently run Flock Together voluntarily in my spare time, but the hosting of the site does cost money.

The current hosting arrangements cost over £200 a year, but users have complained about the speed of Flock Together, particularly while we had a lot of people using FT during the Green Tax Switch campaign, so I am investigating a dedicated server, which could cost more than four times as much.

Before moving to a new server, I’m quite keen to raise some funds to offset the costs – the more I raise, the better service I can provide.

To make a donation, please visit the donations page and press the ‘make a donation’ button.

If you would like to send a cheque or make a direct funds transfer, please email me on for details.


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