At the beginning of last summer a colleague of mine, Jesse Core, asked me what I thought about creating a website with him. I liked the concept of what he wanted and thought it would be a great playground for me. So that was the agreement - I'd be all for it if there weren't time crunches and I could use it as a learning bed for whatever I wanted to play with. Basically I didn't want another job, but I liked having something tangible to build that would allow me to play with the things I don't get to play with at work.
The concept? Straight from the about page:
The need for accountable and transparent government is greater now than ever. While there are numerous avenues to study the voting records of federal and even state officials, it is difficult on the local level. More than likely, if you want to see how your local public officials are voting, you will need to visit City Hall and dig through mountains of papers. This is why we created AccountableGOV.com. It is a free service to cities to offer their citizens a searchable database of voting records. Citizens can now easily view historical votes, determine voting trends, view attendance records and citizen comments.
With that http://accountablegov.com was born!
Technically, this little adventure has been fun so far. Here are a few geek bullets about it:
I'm sure there's more, but that's all that's coming to mind right now. As you can see though, it's all about learning for me and it's all about fun. Cool stuff!
Another really interesting thing for me has been an early decision I made to define a site mantra: everything interesting about the site will be linkable, including (especially?) the searches. This is huge to me.
What this means is I can take any interesting search result I come up with and email it to others or blog about it. The last thing I wanted was for someone to have to tell a friend, "ok, go to the search page, type these eight keywords, and press enter. How cool is that!". Yuck! Instead they should just be able to say, "check this out!" ('this' being a link of course).
Needless to say I'm excited. Now that it's live things might really start getting interesting.