Tim Longhurst's Blog

Election Tracker – How Crikey’s raining on a kids’ parade

November 2nd, 2007 · 2 Comments

Election Trackerelection tracker is a youth-run site that follows the Australian federal election. It’s been around since 2004. It’s great. Go and check it out. It’s full of stories from young Aussies that care about politics and that write about everything from why their mates don’t care to why they vote the way they do.

The Problem

So, guess what? Crikey have set up a website in the past few weeks also called electiontracker. I’m not kidding you. They’ve used exactly the same name. In the same region. In the same industry.

The youth run electiontracker is located at electiontracker.net and was registered back in June 2004. The crikey electiontracker is located at electiontracker.com.au and was registered on 27 September 2007.

So you can see the problem. People are going to crikey’s site by accident because crikey’s decision to use exactly the same name for their website is causing confusion.

A proposed solution

electiontracker is a project of Vibewire and I’m on the Vibewire board. Last week I spoke with Amber Sloan, General Manager of Crikey. While remaining friendly and courteous, I did manage to suggest that her company’s use of the term was unfortunate and was leading to confusion. I proposed a reciprocal link would be a good way to help clear the confusion (ie. “If you’re looking for the Crikey electiontracker, it’s over here” and “If you’re looking for the Vibewire electiontracker, it’s over here” kind of thing).


Yesterday Amber emailed to say Crikey wasn’t interested because “cross-links from site to site would just compound the problem”.

The Web Community Solution

The biggest problem facing the not-f0r-profit electiontracker is that their audience reach is being limited by search engine traffic going to the Crikey electiontracker by mistake. Vibewire’s electiontracker don’t have the resources to defend their trademark in a legal sense, but they can defend it in a web 2.0 sense. We just have to get people talking.

Crikey’s Election Tracker is currently number 1 on Google searches for the term “Election Tracker”, but if enough people link to the original election tracker like this: election tracker, they will soon be back on top.

So if you’d like to help the electiontracker David over the electiontracker Goliath, please post about this one!

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Category: election07

The environment is central to everything

October 19th, 2007 · 7 Comments

Watching one of the Liberal party attack ads, the premise bothered Ellice, Treffyn and myself. As we sat in the office, we asked ourselves, “Is the economy central to everything?”. We decided to remix the ad.

Here’s the original Liberal Party ad:


And here’s our environmental twist:


So by remaking the video with the environmental twist, we ended up producing what is tantamount to a Greens ad. Thanks to Treffyn and Ellice – both worked on the concept with me, and Ellice produced the audio at 1am. I think we’ll be playing with quite a few of the videos this election. Stay tuned.

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Category: election07

Breaking down the election cheat sheet

October 18th, 2007 · 1 Comment

Here are some possible section headers for the Election Cheat Sheet… I found the keywords by visiting each party’s policy section… (ALP, Family First, Greens, Liberal, Nationals) Sure this would be way too many sections, but I thought it would be a good starting point. If you think there is a section header missing, post it in the comments!

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People, Abortion, Accountability, Aged Care, Agriculture, Aid, Animals, Arts and Culture, Asylum Seekers, Aviation, Banking, Biological Diversity, Broadband, Carers, Childcare, Children and Young People, Citizenship, Climate Change, Communications, Community Participation in Government, Constitutional Reform and Democracy, Consumer Affairs, Corporate Governance, Cost of Living, Custody of Children, Defence, Dental Care, Disability, Drugs, Drugs, Economic Managment, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Environment, Environmental Principles, Families, Family Impact Statements, Finance, Foreign Affairs, Forests, Genetically Engineered Organisms in Agriculture, Global Economics, Global Governance, Health, Heritage, Homeland Security, Housing, Human Rights, Immigration and Refugees, Indigenous Australians, Industrial Relations, Industry, Infrastructure, Innovation, Intergovernmental Relations, International Relations, Internet Pornography and Children, Justice, Land transport & fuel pricing, Marine and Coastal Areas, Media, Multiculturalism, Natural Resources, Nuclear, Older People, Overseas Aid, Peace and Security, Physical Recreation, Poker Machines, Population, Primary Industries, Private and Public Ownership, Public Administration, Reconciliation, Recreation, Regional, Regional Development, Regional Services, Research, Resources, Roads, Rural, Science, Security, Seniors, Sexuality and Gender Identity, Shipping & Aviation, Size of Government, Small Business, Social Inclusion, Social Services, Sport, Substance Abuse & Addiction, Superannuation, Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable Planning and Transport, Tax, Technology, Territories, The Family, Tourism, Trade, Training, Transport, Veterans, War, Waste, Water and Inland Aquatic Environments, Welfare, Women, Workers’ Rights, Youth.

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Category: election07

Election Cheat Sheet – Possible ways to pull this together

October 18th, 2007 · No Comments

The idea of an election cheat sheet is to get a broad overview of the various political parties (both major and minor) on a comparison table.

Ideally the cheat sheet will be together at least two weeks out from the election. The information required could be sourced from:

  • hansard
  • official party documents and announcements
  • quotes in the media, and
  • responses to questions in correspondence (letters / email)

The information could be gathered via:

  • an intranet
  • a forum
  • a wiki
  • a Facebook group

So what have I missed and what is the best way forward?

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Category: election07

ACF post 2007 federal election environmental scorecard

October 17th, 2007 · No Comments

In the spirit of the much broader Election Cheat Sheets the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) have posted their federal election environmental scorecard.

According to the ACF:

The scores are based on an analysis of party policy commitments against ACF’s National Agenda for a Sustainable Australia. For further information about ACF’s Election Scorecard, please refer to a detailed explanation in ACF’s Election Scorecard – Party Policy Comparison. Each star is worth two points to provide a total score.

I’d like to see a lot more NGO’s pitting political party policy against their own visions for Australia.

Thanks to Emema for the link!

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Category: election07