CTA Train Tracker Beta Test + Review

I’ve been helping test the Train Tracker system for the Chicago Transit Authority over the last few weeks and today (launch day) I wrote an extensive, first-look review over here on CTA Tattler. Here’s a snip:

In my experience, the system works great and it is a very positive addition to the overall CTA communications regime. Here’s why:

SMOOTH DESIGN

It is a native Web application that runs in a browser. That means it’s not an “app” — there’s nothing to download, no device-specific versions to cover– just go to the page on the Web and it works. The menus make sense, the flow is simple, and the interface is what you’d expect it to be– route-colored bars white familiar typography.

LAUNCH: AldermanicWebsites.com

Today I launched a politics/ design/ technology/ humor site called AldermanicWebsites.Here’s the launch post (Comparing Aldermanic Hopefuls Online) and two snippets:

Here’s something I worked on over Christmas vacation: AldermanicWebsites. It is a fun/ manic little Web site that “contains links to and reviews of the Web sites, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and other Web referencia for each of the 349 people who filed nominating petitions to run for Alderman in one of the cities wards.”*I like the Analysis best– so far I’ve got five posts there, covering everything from good stars and bad stars to remarkable sites and popular Web development platforms. And you’ve realy got to view source to see anything.

Here’s the About page with a snip about the technology reviews:

Chicago Board of Election Commissioners LogoIf you’re interested examples in particular technologies used by particular candidates, the Quick-See pulldown menu is your best bet.For instance, you can see all candidates using the WordPress Web development platform, all candidates using PayPal to collect contributions, or everyone who uses Contact Contact to send out mass emails.Same goes for wards– just choose the ward your interested in (the 24th is super-lively) and you’ll see all candidates. The Ward list is in alphabetical order (when the ward number is spelled out). That’s a little goofy, I know– what can I say; I have limited skills.

Here’s some coverage:Gapers Block: Comparing Aldermanic Hopefuls Online

There are 349 candidates for alderman in this election, with varying levels of web savvy. AldermanicWebsites helps sort through them all. Unsurprisingly, a certain star makes a lot of appearances.

Progress Illinois: Council Candidates On The Web, Facebook, Twitter, And More

AldermanicWebsites.com is a new hub tracking the web-based battle for Chicago’s City Council. Courtesy of internet developer and writer Dan X. O’Neil, the site offers an easy way to comb through the online output of hundreds of candidates who submitted nominating petitions to run for one of Chicago’s 50 council seats. You’ll find links to the candidates’ websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, and what O’Neill calls “other Web referencia.” There are reviews and discussions of their digital production too — check out O’Neil’s thoughts on the star imagery on the prospective council member pages — and a link to a set of photographs of the front page of each aldermanic candidate’s site. Browsing through those front pages is a useful way to learn how council candidates are defining the issues their communities face, where they think incumbent council members have fallen short, and why voters should trust them to do a better job.