I've been away from home for the last 3 days so I hadn't been keeping up with twitter, but tonight I noticed a tweet David Akin made about TweetCommons.com another new Canadian political twitter site. I have to say it angers me a bit to see someone else take my idea somewhat, but I do thrive under competition. It gives me more incentive to make my site clearly the best. It is also a bit surprising since I've found there isn't a large amount of web traffic and certainly no commercial reason to a site like this, the audience isn't large enough. I don't plan to make money from politwitter, its for personal interest.
Not to put down this new site but its no where near as complex to create as politwitter. What they are doing is fairly simple and its just a facade site. Where as politwitter is a full twitter client with additional features over twitter.com. politwitter is fairly complex in grabbing political tweets from many sources and keeping them in an internal database allowing fast pageloads even if twitter.com is down. Also allowing real-time tweet updates and the ability to view tweets in a variety of forms. politwiter also tracks statistics, popular links, tweeted pictures and more.
The scope of the 2 sites is also much different, this new site only deals with federal MPs, where as politwitter includes MPs from Federal and provincial along with any regular Canadian talking about politics.
There are a couple things on this new site that I like and are not currently on politwitter.ca, but that will soon change! Borrow from the borrowers ;) I like when you view a specific MP's page you can see the @reply's directed to that MP. I think I will also add some more contact details for each MP on politwitter like they have done. I'm not sure if this data is available to the public somewhere on a government website, or if it was added by hand. If anyone knows that would be helpful. They also seem to be moving in the direction of showing which riding an MP is from, currently politwitter only shows the province. I'm not sure if its worth the manual data entry for that, but its something I might consider doing.
Let the games begin, heh
I will be spending some time next week doing updates to the site, I haven't had time lately. If anyone ever wants to help out with the development or running of politwitter please let me know, i'm open to help!
And as always, please let me know any suggestions!