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New newsletter

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commit d2ab440e819ffa532b295092f1a2f5a34b426549 1 parent 5c60d14
frabcus authored
Showing with 187 additions and 1 deletion.
  1. +2 −1  build/mailnewsletter.pl
  2. +185 −0 website/newsletters/issue5.txt
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3  build/mailnewsletter.pl
@@ -2,7 +2,7 @@
use strict;
use lib "loader/";
-my $text = "website/newsletters/extra2.txt";
+my $text = "website/newsletters/issue5.txt";
#my $test_name = "";
my $test_name = "Francis Irving";
#my $test_name = "Julian Todd";
@@ -17,6 +17,7 @@
$query .= "and real_name = '$test_name'";
}
my $sth = PublicWhip::DB::query($dbh, $query);
+print "Sending to " . $sth->rows . " people\n";
while (my @data = $sth->fetchrow_array())
{
my $email = $data[1];
View
185 website/newsletters/issue5.txt
@@ -0,0 +1,185 @@
+Subject: Public Whip Newsletter #5 - Dream up your perfect MP
+Date: Mon, 12 Jul 2004 16:53:03 +0100
+
+Welcome to the fifth Public Whip newsletter.
+
+Inside this issue:
+* Editorial
+* Site Updates: "Dream MP"
+* Useful Tool: "News Syndication"
+* Project Spotlight: "Playing with Data"
+* Public Whip in the News
+
+The Public Whip ( http://www.publicwhip.org.uk ) is a project to
+data-mine the record of Members of the United Kingdom Parliament, so
+that you can hold them to account.
+
+***********************************************************************
+Editorial
+
+Outside the window there are glorious clouds, sun and beautiful
+British countryside. I'm writing this on a train back from Wales,
+excited as there is lots to tell you about this month. Imagine an MP
+who voted exactly the way you wanted them to. Read the first section
+below to find out how to turn your Dream MP into a reality.
+
+If you haven't seen it already, check out http://www.theyworkforyou.com
+We've been working on it for the last nine months with the people who
+made FaxYourMP.com. Now you can scribble in the shared margins of a
+virtual Hansard, and view a report card on your MP's performance. Use
+it to comment on funny happenings in parliament, to help collaborative
+research on a topic you're interested in, or to watch closely every
+speech your MP makes. Let us know what you do with it. We are always
+looking for ideas.
+
+Have a great summer.
+
+ - Francis, The Public Whip ( http://www.publicwhip.org.uk )
+
+***********************************************************************
+Dream MP - Site Updates
+
+So, what's a Dream MP? Let's start with an example. Scott Matthewman
+runs a website called The Gay Vote ( http://www.thegayvote.co.uk )
+He has made an "dream" MP who always votes for equal sexual rights.
+You can have a look at his MP here.
+
+http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/dreammp.php?id=6
+
+Looking at the "Divisions Attended" section, you can see that he has
+voted 10 times in parliament, and which way he voted each time. The
+votes are during debates about Section 28, adoption and sexual
+offences.
+
+Further down there is a a "Comparison to Real MPs". This ranks the
+MPs in order as to how well they do with gay rights. An "agreement
+score" of 100% means they have always voted the same as Scott's Dream
+MP. A score of 0% means they always voted differently. You can see
+some more Dream MPs here. There aren't many yet.
+
+http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/dreammps.php
+
+Anyone can make their own Dream MP. They could represent a single
+issue you care about, like Scott. Or an organisation, such as The
+Countryside Alliance. Or a new political party, or a prospective
+parliamentary candidate. Or just yourself, and things that you care
+about. To make one go here.
+
+http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/account/adddream.php
+
+First you will need to log in. If you are receiving this newsletter
+from us, you already have an account. Your username is at the bottom
+of this email. The password is the one you made when you signed up to
+this newsletter. If you've forgotten it, use the form:
+
+http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/account/lostpass.php
+
+Let us know how you get on.
+
+Notice that if you click through from a Dream MP to a division, there
+is a new section on the divisions pages. This shows how any Dream MP
+who voted in the division voted. It's very useful for working out
+what a division means. And another incentive for you to make a Dream
+MP for issues you care about, and get your point of view shown on the
+site.
+
+http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2001-10-24&number=41
+
+***********************************************************************
+News Syndication - Useful Tool
+
+Syndication on the Internet is when one website automatically
+publishes data from another. For example, these two MPs have put
+their most recent speeches in parliament and written questions on
+their homepages. Look in the right hand sidebar for "recent
+appearances" and "recent activity in parliament".
+
+http://www.richardallan.org.uk/
+http://www.normanlamb.org.uk/
+
+But rather than having to update it themselves, it's updated
+automatically from TheyWorkForYou.com. This is done using the magic
+of "RSS", which stands for "Really Simple Syndication". If you'd like
+to do this on your own website, but aren't sure how to go about it,
+get in touch with us.
+
+If you don't have your own website, you can use "RSS" on your own
+computer. You need some software called a "news aggregator". This
+puts together news from different websites in one place, much easier
+than going to each website every day. For more details on this, see
+the section "What is RSS?" on the TheyWorkForYou.com site.
+
+http://www.theyworkforyou.com/help/#rss
+
+***********************************************************************
+Playing with Data - Project Spotlight
+
+Our regular data monger, Chris Lightfoot, has been having fun with
+parliamentary word frequencies. He's made a tool which lets you
+enter words and plot a graph of how often they are spoken in the
+house. You can either compare two terms, or compare by party.
+Colours represent the two terms, or else political parties with black
+for "others".
+
+http://beasts.org/U0 - for example, with "weapons of mass destruction"
+http://beasts.org/Us1 - "iraq" vs. "terrorism"
+http://pitt.beasts.org - try it with your own words
+
+To do this, Chris has used our "XML files" of debates. These are
+structured data, like an Excel spreadsheet, but of all the speakers
+and speeches in the House of Commons. You can now download these XML
+files yourself, and play with them. The Debates and Written Answers
+are available, and always kept up to date.
+
+http://www.theyworkforyou.com/raw
+http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/project/data.php
+
+Using this data, some people have been talking about doing textual
+analysis of the words used in parliament. If you're interested in
+that, or in anything else you can do with our raw data, then you
+can join the publicwhip-playing email list.
+
+https://lists.sourceforge.net/lists/listinfo/publicwhip-playing
+
+We talk about all sorts of things to do with the backend of The Public
+Whip, related projects and having fun with the data. And there are
+some busy people in other Commonwealth countries... If you have an
+idea for something technologically similar to The Public Whip, then
+sign up and perhaps together we can make it happen.
+
+***********************************************************************
+Public Whip in the News
+
+There have been a couple of interesting articles about our new website
+TheyWorkForYou.com in the newspapers. Unfortunately you have to pay
+to read the Independent one, but the Guardian one is free.
+
+http://www.guardian.co.uk/online/news/0,12597,1233319,00.html
+http://news.independent.co.uk/world/science_technology/story.jsp?story=536480
+
+The MP's Modernisation of the House of Commons committee has issued
+their first report. It has a lot to say about the importance of having
+a good parliament website. Worth a read. I'm particular pleased that
+they recommend stopping use of the term "strangers" to refer to visitors
+to the house! It wasn't exactly friendly. Next step -- the report goes
+to whole house later in the year.
+
+http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200304/cmselect/cmmodern/368/36802.htm
+
+On Thursday it's the New Statesman's New Media Award ceremony. The
+Public Whip have been shortlisted, so wish us luck. It's well worth
+looking at the shortlist for the awards, to get a feel for the kind of
+organisations who are doing imaginative things with the internet. And
+what you might do for your own organisation next.
+
+http://www.newstatesman.com/newmedia
+
+***********************************************************************
+Forward this newsletter to people who are interested
+***********************************************************************
+
+Subscribe a new address to this newsletter? Sign up here.
+http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/account/register.php
+
+Want to stop getting this newsletter? Login here and cancel your
+subscription. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/account/settings.php
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