As evidenced by the increase in posts about the use of digital by Canadian politicians, my work in public affairs has reignited my interest in politics. I follow political journalists, politicians and online political junkies. My RSS subscriptions and Hootsuite dashboard are my primary tools for staying on top of activities on my computer, iPhone and iPad.
There’s one app I’ve dabble with and haven’t yet found my stride on.
MyPolitics Canada by Purple Forge is one of those so-close-yet-so-far apps. With it, I’m able to read online political news from several media organizations and political parties (including press releases and published speeches), and follow the social media streams of various politicians from all levels of government across Canada. I also have the ability to follow official accounts of municipalities.
Perhaps because of the small footprint of the iPhone screen, or having to juggle the number of features people expect/want from the tool, MyPolitics Canada and several other Purple Forge apps fall short in a disappointing way. A shame since the app could be stellar and a great start for capabilities not yet considered.
While I recognize, as the title of this post suggests, you can’t have everything, and there may be efforts by the developer to take the app to the next level, I do have a wish list of features that would benefit not only the MyPolitics app, but the Purple Forge iPhone apps paid for by politicians including Tim Hudak, Michel Bellemare, Aaron Helleman and Larry O’Brien.
The selection list of Twitter streams is limited to individual politicians rather than parties. Even more concerning is Purple Forge hasn’t been able to keep up with the growing list of politicians who have Twitter accounts and doesn’t provide the user the ability for users to add the streams of those who have joined. I would love to have party-specific feeds to be able to get a read on party sentiment at a moment in time. This would have been particularly helpful in the aftermath of Canada’s withdrawal from the UN Security Council vote or during the rescue of the Chilean miners.
While I’m on the topic, it would be nice if the full list of streams was sorted alphabetically by last name. The same with the list of hashtagged streams.
FRAME OF REFERENCE
The app has an interesting feature that allows users to participate in polls on specific issues. Current polls include the HST and Afghan Detainees, issues we’ve moved beyond. Also, it would be nice to see the results of the polls after registering a vote.
…with thanks to comedian Steven Wright for a great post title.