Social Networks Web/Tech

Help Evaluate Congressional Web Sites

Have an extra 10 minutes to spare? Consider helping the Sunlight Foundation conduct a review of Congressional web sites. It’s easy (if the web site is logically organized) and informative (I discovered some unknown-to-me info that Congressmen have to disclose).

One potential flaw: it looks like each web site will be reviewed by only one person, which could introduce error. For example, I marked one question incorrectly on Part 1 of the survey — but was able to correct it when I ran across that bit of information later in my search of the web site. What if I had not done so (either found the info or figured out how to make the correction)? The Congressional web site would have received an erroneously low score, because of a coding error.

Nevertheless, it’s an interesting application of the distributed labor / open-source software model. In an earlier project, the Foundation tracked 1753 of the  1810 earmarks in the House Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Bill and 477 of 553 earmarks in the Housing and Urban Development Bill.

By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

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