Project Lobster user stories

OK, a bit of Lobster. Two things have happened recently to up my tuit on the project. First, I learned that Drew Conway of the Zero Intelligence Agents blog has given NetworkX the ability to generate a force-directed graph in d3.js, which you can stick right in a web page. Second, I’ve been reading the Flask docs and falling in love. So now, it’s got a github repo and structure and I have a pretty good idea of how to build it, and I took some decisions.

Lobster has basically 3 user stories. These are:

“Explore and investigate”

I ooh and aah over the network graph. I search for ministers I hate. I look up issues, lobbies, or subjects I am interested in. I drill down to more detail. Then I get angry, and lobby back via WriteToThem etc.

“Rouse the mob”

I notice something outrageous. I customise the data presentation in order to make my point and to see the issue more clearly. I get a URI to this view, and spread it to everyone I know.
for who in whoville.whos:
...tweet(my point)

“Enduring stare/fix in place by surveillance”

I pick lobbies, ministers, or subjects I am interested in. I customise the data presentation to understand the problem better and identify significant events. I register alerts to tell me when something happens.

Obviously, these three elements make up a larger message. Once the mob has been roused, it’s important to monitor the results (the Health & Social Care Bill “listening pause” being a case in point). Further, an alert going off is a cue to investigate further, that leads to a call to action.

Anyway, the next to-do is to rework a pile of ugly code from the analytics scrapers. Also, this is a pretty sweet way of plotting data and close to what I want.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.