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Todd Platts, 10 candidates, and the Legend of Zelda: How to Create A “How to Pick a Congressman” Interactive Feature

April 28, 2012 Leave a comment

I love when news organizations go interactive.

When USA Today launched its first “Candidate Match Game” for the 2008 election, I was hooked. I hadn’t been that impressed by a game since I was 15 years old and watching the sunset on Hyrule Field in the “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.”

I was similarly addicted to the New York Times’ “You Fix the Budget” interactive feature. (It’s informative across the board, but the health care section is really helpful.)

So I was really excited to help launch an interactive quiz at the York Daily Record/Sunday News, to help voters keep track of the seven Republicans, two Democrats, and one Libertarian hoping to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Todd Platts, R-York County.

Shortly after we finished the quiz, Sunday editor Scott Blanchard and Brad Jennings, who is the assistant managing editor for visuals, described what it took to get it done.

Steve Buttry, director of community engagement and social media for Digital First Media, wrote about the quiz on his blog Friday.

“This was especially helpful in such a crowded race, but I think candidate quizzes will be helpful in the fall races as well. Some candidates will decide those races based on party loyalty, but the independent voters will decide those races, and some of them won’t be paying attention to your daily coverage.”

Buttry shares a few ideas for using candidate quizzes in the fall, and I’ve got a few of my own.

But what do you think? (Some people who took the quiz, commented that they would have liked questions on abortion and LGBT issues.)

How do you think we should use quizzes for the fall election?

Or for our general government and politics coverage?

And, on a personal note, how would you feel about a quiz, where people answered questions to determine which piece of the Triforce –power, courage or wisdom –would be embedded into their hand if said Triforce ever split into three pieces?

Ok, well, maybe that last one would’ve been cooler when I was 15. (And I’m using “cooler” in the broadest sense of the word.)

New job at York Daily Record/Sunday News.

April 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Hello, readers:

I’m going to be trying to post more often on the blog.

But the big news since my last update: I’m now working at the York Daily Record/Sunday News. I cover politics and government and just wrapped up covering the crowded and occasionally contentious 4th Congressional primary.

I’ll keep you posted.