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Thought So Far

posted by @cka_politwit on Aug 9, 2009
I have had fun creating this site over the last 3+ months, I was forced to think of ways around problems I hadn't dealt with before. And most rewarding is the great response from the Canadian twitter community I have received. A big thanks to all of those who offered feedback, tweeted about the site or posted a link on their blog.

I have spent a great deal of time improving the site and adding features, I think it's the best national Twitter mashup out there. But I am a bit disappointed in the amount of traffic a site like this receives. It spikes a lot when there is a political event, like you would expect, but a simple site like www.canadianblogosphere.ca gets more daily visitors. Since mid July the traffic has started to pickup and now there are usually around 20 people on the site at any given time during the day and a couple hundred unique visitors daily. It will be interesting to see what happens when fall arrives or an election is called.

Some observations over the last 3 months are that more people seem to be using political hashtags in their tweets, a result of politwitter? Possibly in May I created a bunch of new hashtags and started promoting them, several have caught on, including #cdnpoli which is now the most used political tag. Another observation is that when the site started the Conservative tweeters were way ahead of Liberal or NDP tweeters with regards to hash tag organization, total tweets and MP’s on Twitter. Possibly as a result of the stats provided by politwitter the Liberal Tweeters have picked up their game and are now matching or beating the Conservatives on twitter.

It still seems that most visitors aren’t using the full potential of politwitter, maybe because they don’t know what it can do? So I created an introduction video last month and a detailed help page yesterday. I track various actions on the site to see how often they are used, lots of the sites features are not used as much as I had hoped. Maybe people don't know they can use the site to post Tweets or they use a desktop application or mobile app to do their tweeting. Some of the tracked items are new or I wasn't tracking them before, that's why the numbers are 0.

I think most of the bugs and a lot of the performance issues have been ironed out and I'm pretty happy with all the features. But like most projects, every time I finish something I think of 5 new things I could do and add them to "the list". So I have many more things planned for the future and I'm open to suggestions.

I also decided to move the Blog from Facebook to the site, I created a really simple blog system. I am also re-considering using Facebook as the feedback discussion forum. It's not being used much and I think the problem with it is Facebook doesn't send notifications of any kind when there is a new discussion or a reply. So people never check back after joining. Before I created the Facebook page I looked at some of the feedback apps like Uservoice, none were perfect and they all charged a monthly fee for the good features. But it’s something I am going to re-consider. I could also make a sub-forum on CKA Canadian Forums for feedback. I was just trying to avoid people the hassle of having to register on a site to post, I figured most people already had facebook.

About Politwitter

Politwitter is a non-partisan service that brings together all the Canadian political twitter, making it easy to connect elected MPs & MLAs with the Canadian people.

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