MSNBC.com election returns widgets

Lost Remote’s Cory Bergman (who works at MSNBC.com) points us to some nifty widgets that promise election returns (updated every 2 min). I stuck one on my politix site and might put one of the state widgets here as well.

"There are two widgets that come in three sizes each: a national electoral map and a state map of your choosing. So if you’re a local media site in Denver, for example, you can post both the national map as well as a Colorado map, and users can even drill down to county-level results. Here’s a mock-up example of the national widget using random test data:

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"More details here, and you can grab the widgets here on msnbc.com. (They’ll display a countdown until a couple hours before the results start coming in on Nov. 4th, then they’ll automatically switch to the map).

Our statewide news network in Missouri (Missourinet) gets returns from the Secretary of State’s website. Not sure where the MSNBC.com data is coming from. (Sigh) I spent the better part of my youth trying to come up with a good source for election returns (without giving AP an arm and a leg). It feels weird to think that any blogger can grab one of these widgets and provide her readers with decent vote counts. Talk about disruptive technology. But then we haven’t seen these buggers work yet…

2 thoughts on “MSNBC.com election returns widgets

  1. I’ll be working on election night at the SOS office. I’ll be keeping the Library open for reporters who want to cover the election from inside the SOS office.
    I did this if Feb. for the primary and there was a kind of electricity in the office that night. You could tell something was going on that was important. I can’t wait till Tuesday night!

  2. Smays….here’s a flashback.
    As one of Keith Sampson’s minions, I was asked to come in on Nov 3, 1992 to help you distribute Missouri election returns on the Learfield data wire. The computer used was an old 8088 or 286 PC with a monochrome monitor in the Brownfield newsroom. We had to “dial in” to MO SoS office BBS system on a modem (~1200 baud). The SoS system was incapacitated by the number of attempted dialups and the line kept dropping. Thankfully, Bob Priddy was able to get us reconnected every 30 minutes or so. Seems like the SoS data was copied to an ASCII text file, then reloaded into the data wire terminal. Of course, the data completely lost formating and it took about 15 minutes to carefully message the numbers back into orderly columns (without creating a stir by accidentally erasing part of the numbers). All this was taking place as the first Democrat in 16 years was elected President of the United States.
    Seven months later, I attended student orientation at the Univ of MO-Rolla. While there, I picked up a pile of pamphlets in the Comp Sci department to get an idea about what all facilities they offered. The pamphlets talked about something called the Internet and email. I hadn’t heard of it before. It looked really interesting, but was rather cryptic with terms like TELNET, FTP, IP addresses, and some sort of program called KERMIT. You accessed this Internet thing on the campus mainframe system… UMRVMA.
    Now it’s another 16 years…and it looks like we’re going to have another realistic shot at a Democrat in the White House….
    I feel old.

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