Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Rebranding "VFM" as "VoterMedia"

I think it's a good long term plan to call it "VoterMedia" instead of "VFM". This is for both meanings -- the VoterMedia system, and the voter media.

"VoterMedia increases engagement in a democracy."
"Voter media tend to be more issues-oriented than mainstream media."

Main reasons:

1. As we expand the movement beyond UBC, "VoterMedia" is immediately meaningful to people who have never heard of it, whereas "VFM" is not.

2. If you google for "votermedia", all hits are relevant to this project. If you google for "vfm", most hits are about other things.

3. We have the web domains votermedia.org, votermedia.com, votermedia.net, votermedia.ca, votermedia.us, voterfundedmedia.org, and voter-media.org. We have none of the vfm.anything domains -- all are taken.

4. As a domain name, voterfundedmedia.org is too long; votermedia.org is short enough. VFM is a handy abbreviation of voter funded media, but VoterMedia (which could sometimes be spelled "voter media" or "voter-media") is short enough to be handy too.

5. One name, less confusion.

I'm not saying we should be obnoxious about it, trying to stop people from saying VFM. But we can gradually move toward "votermedia".

What do you think?

(BTW I'm giving a brief talk on VoterMedia at the UBC AMS Council meeting tomorrow evening.)

Monday, July 12, 2010

VoterMedia.org tally & archive system revamped

Today I released a significant overhaul of the votermedia.org tally & archive routines. The main tally algorithm (that calculates award shares based on votes) has not significantly changed, but:
  • Time zones: We now use a midnight cutoff in each community's time zone. However, a community spanning multiple time zones may use a midnight cutoff in its latest (western-most) well-populated time zone, so many communities use Pacific time.
  • If our server is down when it tries to tally, instead of leaving a gap it will automatically fill that in, an hour later.
  • We now have fairer tie-breaking routines for cases when there are few votes.
  • It's now easier to recalculate awards for many past days. We've recalculated from 2010-04-01 to the present.
Please send me any questions or advice, to mark[at]votermedia.org. Thanks!