Pods is a pet project that I've been working on for more than a year. It's purpose is to sit on top of WordPress and allow for users to create custom data structures, called content types. It's sort of like Drupal CCK, but for WordPress.
In case you haven't gotten the news via Twitter or elsewhere, DataMasherwon in a squeaker, over some very stiff competition from This We Know and GovPulse. I got to meet and talk shop with those developers and the developers behind the Visualization Prize winner, QuakeSpotter. They're all scarily smart and great people.
In creating Datamasher, Forum One's entry in the Sunlight Labs Apps for America 2 competition, we were faced with a challenge: how to take some of the data cataloged on the government's new data.gov website and make it more easily used and understood by average citizens.
Since many of us are involved in campaign-focused work that requires rapid turn-around, I wanted to share some lessons from a recent internal project we delivered in 4 weeks for the "Apps for America 2" contest.
(Our application, DataMasher, placed in the top 3 (out of 47), so by they way, I'd appreciate your vote so we can be pushed to #1.)
WordPress and Drupal are similar in a lot of ways. They're both extremely popular, powerful, and flexible frameworks. They both have minimal cores, but were built from the ground-up to handle tons of extensibility. Even though WordPress has been traditionally thought of as a blogging system, it's gradually shaping into a more refined, full-featured CMS.
There's a lot of people out there wanting to keep up with Congress.
Many people just want to know what their representatives are doing in Congress, how they're voting, and who they're interacting with. Unfortunately, that's pretty hard to find, especially from several different angles.
We at Forum One felt that exposing this information was a pretty good idea, so we ran with it. The final result is the site LegiStalker.