Stortingsvalget 2009 – slik dekkes valg-kvelden på nett

stortingsvalg-thumbs

Oppdatering: Du finner nå en litt strammere versjon av denne artikkelen på NRKbeta.

For webdesignere og utviklere er Stortingsvalget bestandig en spesiell kveld. Det er da de store mediehusene pleier å vise seg fra sin beste side. Forsidene er nystrigla, serverne nyboota, og man har brukt sine beste folk til å planlegge og lage nye fine tjenester for å vise info-porn (aka valgresultater som Geir Heljesen liker å kalle det) til sitt publikum. Valgkvelden er på mange måter selve ild-dåpen for en nett-redaksjon og det er bestandig spennende å se hva folk leverer.

Jeg var også spent på å se hvordan sosiale medier ble brukt rundt omkring. Var det noen som fikk til noe like stilig som det CNN leverte i forbindelse med USA-valget?

Målet mitt med kvelden var å fange så mange skjermbilder som mulig, og skrive litt om hver tjeneste, til bruk som referanse ved neste valg, og til allmenn glede for alle web- og valg-interesserte.

Bruk av sosiale medier i valgkampen

Dette var definitivt ild-dåpen til de sosiale mediene i valgsammenheng. De fleste partier hadde gode strategier på bruk av Facebook, Twitter og YouTube, men spesielt Arbeiderpartiet tok Twitter seriøst, og bortimot tvangsinnmeldte “alle” sine medlemmer. Noe som ble litt småslitsomt for alle oss Twitter-veteraner etterhvert, men som tydeligvis ga uttelling. Jens Stoltenberg skrøt av sine partifeller på valgvaken og sa at de hadde gjort en fabelaktig innsats på “gamlemåten”, dvs dele ut roser og gå dør til dør, men så sa han følgende.

“Vi vant valgkampen på nett” – Jens Stoltenberg

Og det tror jeg han har litt rett i. SV gjorde også mye riktig på nett, men de konsentrerte seg om sine egne nettsider og på bruken av Youtube, men de var bortimot usynlige på Twitter, og sendte dermed et signal om at de ikke tar velgerne sine seriøst. Jeg så heller ikke mye til de andre partiene på Twitter, kanskje med unntak av Høyre. Miljøpartiet de Grønne hadde også tilstedeværelse på Twitter.

Code: Gameinfo + Gametrailers + Youtube Mashup

Norsk? Du finner en norsk versjon av denne artikkelen på NrkBeta.no

I recently made a Gameinfo service for spiller.no. It pulls in licenced gameinfo from our partner GameXplore though XML, and combines it with a search for related videoes from Youtube before it is presented on the page.

Example: FIFA STREET 3 Gameinfo – NRK Spiller

Youtube + Google Api
I made the Youtube part as a standalone page, and I include it with iframe. The reason I used Iframe was to make it easily reusable on other projects where it would fit to do something similar. I can for instance include it in my blog like this:

The page takes any search term as a GET, in this example it simply queries the youtube google api with the title of the game, with a few extra parameters (limit on the number of returned movies + a filter to remove “adult content”). I spent some time to create the XSLT to convert the xml from youtube/google to html, which is basically the same format for many of Googles services. I spent hours trying to find out if someone had created this already, but since I couldn’t find anything I had to create it myself. If you want to learn more about the youtube api I suggest starting at the Youtube Api group on Google Groups.

Open source

I have gotten some emails asking for the xslt for the youtube search, so I wanted to share it here:

This is my input, an example Youtube search

This is my example output:
https://pappmaskin.no/opensource/youtube/youtube.php

And here is the xslt I used to produce the above result:
https://pappmaskin.no/opensource/youtube/youtube3.xsl

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments.

Spam? Porn? Nope!
I was of course a little worried about what the youtube search would return, so when testing I went through quite a few games to see if the search returned movies that were unrelated to the gametitle, or contained nudity, but so far it looks really good, the youtube videos are actually the most interesting part of the service, so I’m really happy with it!

Blip.tv gametrailers
Yesterday I also added gametrailers to the mix, check out the gamepage for Assassins Creed for an example (click on the huge image at the top of the page) to make it play. I have bought a lisence for the wonderful Jeroen FLV Media Player which I use to present the gametrailers.

New gametrailers page, based on blip.tv
After that I spent a few minutes to create a new page that lists all the latest gametrailers published through GameXplore. I use the Jeroen Flv Media Player for this page as well. I created this yesterday, so I have to debug it a little bit before we start to promote it, and I also have to consider to increase the video buffer time, it seems like blip.tv har pretty slow servers. Right now there is a five second buffer, which should be more than enough, but even with broadband connection the video stops and buffers every five second. I don’t want people to wait forever for the video to buffer, but it is super irritating when the video stops every 5 seconds to buffer, so I have to decide what to do with it. One (hard) solution could be to download all the .flv to my server and play them from there… I am a big fan of blip.tv, they have the best player around, and their cross posting abilities are great (at least in theory, I still haven’t gotten it to work with this blog or myspace), so I am a little dissapointed to discover that the blip.tv servers (or lines?) are so slow to deliver video. (to Norway at least).

Thickbox
I love the Jquery javascript library, and I love Thickbox, so I decided to use it on the Screenshots on the site, popping them up in their own little box. I modidied the thickbox script and css slightly, replacing the animated loading gif and moved things around a little bit, and I am really happy about the outcome.

Add the spiller.no Gameinfo search to your browser

Spiller.no Gameinfo

Sjekk ut info, screenshots, trailers og anmeldelser på nye og kommende spill:

So there it is, hope you like it :)

To embed the search in your site:

<div class=”placeholder”><h3>Spiller.no Gameinfo</h3>
<span style=”color: #fff; width: 160px; font-size: 0.8em;”>Sjekk ut info, screenshots, trailers og anmeldelser på nye og kommende spill:</span>
<form id=”gamesearchform” name=”gamexploresearch” enctype=”application/x-www-form-urlencoded” method=”get” action=”http://www.nrk.no/spiller/gameinfo/?”>
<fieldset>
<input type=”hidden” value=”143″ name=”task”/>
<input style=”padding: 1px 0 2px 0; width:100px; border:1px solid #F7F7F7; border-width: 0pt 1px 1px 0pt;” type=”text” value=”” maxlength=”500″ name=”finn”/>
<button type=”submit”><span>Søk</span></button>
</fieldset>
</form></div>

Can you have too much ease-of-use?


Photo: Snooze, from Flickr (CC)

Stipping things down to the bare minimum is Apples mantra. But isn’t easy equal to boring? Excerpt from an interesting article on the subject:

Think about it… skiing, dancing, chess, photography, flying, dressage, gardening, dog training, environmental activism, religion… when people are into any of those things passionately (as opposed to casually supportive), they keep wanting to get better! People who are passionate always have an opportunity (which they grab) to keep improving. To keep learning more. To improve their skills and knowledge about whatever it is they love so much. They read and they practice.

So if what you offer doesn’t have any challenges associated with it, and things for which people can continually learn and improve, you’ll have a harder time getting people passionate about it.

Read more on Creating Passionate Users: Can you have too much ease-of-use?