BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, is urging citizens to get savvier about information ahead of the general election,. The Institute has created a top list of online resources that allow citizens to find out more about the political process and participate in it,. The guide, which has been produced as part of the Savvy Citizens campaign, is an easy way to find out just how straightforward it is to get involved. More information and advice can be found at http://savvycitizens.bcs.org
1. Keyword Alerts — Want to find out when your MP is written about in the media, or is mentioned in someone’s blog? Each of the major search engines offers this function. When something appears online that fits your keyword, whether it’s in a news piece, blog or just a web page, you’ll be emailed a link to it (e.g. Google Alerts).
3. HearFromYourMP — Feel like you aren’t getting enough regular updates from your MP? Sign up to HearFromYourMP to let them know you’d like to hear from them more often than you do.
4. No 10 Petitions — Is something bothering you that you want the government to do something about? Create a petition at No 10’s Petition Website. You can create a petition and watch it grow over time.
5. Parliament.uk — Using the official web site of the UK Parliament, you can find out who your MP is, what legislation is being debated and when, and find information on how to get involved in what happens at Westminster.
6. TheyWorkForYou — This site offers a few different tools all in one location. You can create a RSS feed of keywords, get a feel for what your MP’s voting record is like, read their expenses and even contact them directly. Visit TheyWorkForYou (http://www.theyworkforyou.com) today.
7. RSS Reader — Many MPs, MEPs and councilors have their own web sites. Some even maintain blogs. Instead of having to visit each site individually to read their blogs, add their RSS feed to your Reader of choice. Google has its own, or try Feedly or Bloglines.
8. DirectGov — The official web site of the UK Government, DirectGov, is a useful resource for finding out about your rights, political parties and elections, and local government.
9. Twitter — TweetMinster and TweetyHall are two resources for finding your MP, MEP and Councilor on Twitter. Use these to find out if your representative is using Twitter, and which parties are most actively engaged with the service.
10. UpMyStreet — This is a resource for all things local. Whether it’s photos of your local area you’re after, your local crime stats or performance information about your local schools — UpMyStreet has it all.