Liberal Democrats: Flock Together

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RSS frenzy at Flock Together

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

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 donation@flocktogether.org.uk for details.

Options for an organisation’s RSS feed on Flock Together

October 3rd, 2006

In response to requests, I’ve added some options for organisations Flock Together RSS feeds, such as you might want to use on a local party or organisational website.

You can find the basic RSS feed on the organisation page of the party organisation you’re interested in – which you can find via search or via this page. The feed can be found towards the bottom behind a small button such as this one RSS icon. Just right click the button and select ‘copy link location’ in Firefox or ‘copy shortcut’ in Internet Explorer to get the address of the RSS feed.

You should then have something like:

http://www.flocktogether.org.uk/rss.php?Organisation=567

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

&sortorder=meetingdate

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:

&praterraines=yes

If you want to exclude ‘parent’ meetings (for a local party, this might mean your regional, national or federal party), then add:

&showparent=no

If you want to exclude ‘child’ meetings (for a regional party, this might mean from local parties in their area), then add:

&showchildren=no

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:

&scheduleddate=yes

Adding campaign resources to Flock Together

October 2nd, 2006

I’ve added the functionality to register, and look for, resources such as RISOs on Flock Together.

This should make it easier for people to find a printer or RISO for printing Focus and other campaign literature.

You can add your RISO at http://www.flocktogether.org.uk/registerResource.php

Are there any other resources you think we should include or extra functions we should add? Have your say:

or send an email to flocktogether-subscribe@lists.libdems.org.uk to join the email discussion list.

New training video – this time using Flash

September 30th, 2006

Following the last, not wholly successful, attempt at a training video for Flock Together, here’s a new attempt using Flash.

The (free) programme that let me do this is called Wink and it’s proved surprisingly easy to use, and has produced dramatically better results than my last attempt. Its only slight negative is a mild Pinky-and-Perky-isation of my voice!


As ever, all comments welcome.

Fame at last…

September 30th, 2006

A hat tip to Mark Pack for getting Flock Together into the Guardian.

theyworkforyou.com

September 24th, 2006

Exciting stuff on TheyWorkForYou.com with the launch of their new API.

This is all free to non-profit-making sites and thus lets Flock Together (as a decidedly non-profit-making site) access all kinds of information when users input a postcode, such as the constituency the postcode refers to and the MP that goes with that constituency.

Now to work out exactly what to do with the opportunities this represents! Obvious ideas include:

  • Mapping users into their constituencies
  • Automatically assigning meetings and by-elections to the constituencies they are held in

But I’ve got some even cooler ideas than that – particularly when one starts mashing up constituency information, Google Maps, Google News and Prater Raines website feeds!

Lots to think about…

Options for your personal RSS feed on Flock Together

September 8th, 2006

In response to requests, I’ve added some options for personal Flock Together RSS feeds.

The basic feed remains, as before:

http://www.flocktogether.org.uk/userrss.php?id=yourusername

If you want to publish your feed, it may make sense only to show only meetings that you’ve ‘registered’ on Flock Together. To do this add the following onto your URL:

®isteredonly=yes

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

&sortorder=meetingdate

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:

&praterraines=yes

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:

&scheduleddate=yes

Personal Flock Together RSS feeds

September 3rd, 2006

There’s been an encouraging uptake of the personal RSS feed system that I’ve just installed – 37 different people so far.

My feed is http://www.flocktogether.org.uk/userrss.php?id=mpntod for example. Just change the user name on the end (the bit in italics) to get your own personal feed. If you log in to the site, the RSS icon at the bottom of the home page should also link to your personal feed.

I had a request for the feed to be sortable by date by using use the date of the meeting as the publication date. This may confuse your feed reader since some of them don’t show dates in the future, and it will mean that updates don’t show as you might expect, but if you want this, add ‘&scheduleddate=yes‘ to the end of your feed address.

I am also thinking of adding a ‘&praterraines=yes‘ flag to format the entries so that they look good on Prater Raines sites. In essence, this will mean removing the date from the meeting title and changing the publication date to the date of the meeting. Worth doing? Let me know.

Postnote: the ‘praterraines’ flag is now installed and working.

Editing organisation descriptions on Flock Together

August 22nd, 2006

Do you run a Lib Dem organisation or local party?

If you’ve added any meetings for a particular organisation to Flock Together, you can now edit the details of that organisation.

Just go to the organisation page in question and hit the ‘edit this page’ link.

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