Open source, meet politics — the techies over at the Democratic National Committee have launched a new site devoted to sharing the results of their work. Nancy Scola has the details over at tPrez, and you can check out Open.Dems for yourself, but the basic idea is to share APIs, code samples and ideas with their software’s users, the broader progressive community and by extension, everyone online who’s interested.
Nancy’s article features plenty of great quotes from friends-of-e.politics (hi folks!), who are no doubt damn pleased to have gotten this sucker past the powers-that-be (politicos are not generally friendly to the idea of releasing information unnecessarily). I’m very excited about this site’s potential: not only will it help the (Democratic) users of the specific technologies that come out of the DNC, but it’s likely to spark development in the broader online politics community. And, it elevates the day-to-day work of the ones-and-zeroes crowd, which is frequently ignored in the press in favor of grand strategic pronouncements about the political internet.
As fits its combo mission, the initial blog posts on the Open.Dems front page are a mixed collection: a couple of best-practices pieces on fundraising and splash pages, an uber-nerdy article on a Ruby on Rails feature, and the announcement of a Democratic voter-registration widget from a few weeks ago. I’m keeping a close eye on what these guys are up to; I’m sure that Republican techies will be doing the same.