Technology

MSNBC Votes for VCI

Focus on new digital tools as election approaches 9/20/2010 12:01:00 AM Eastern

Unlike 2008, when most voting eyes were
trained on the groundbreaking presidential
contest, this year’s midterm races “are a big,
unwieldy beast of an election,” notes Vaughn
Ververs, Msnbc.com’s political director. “It’s
not like everyone is focused on one national
election. There are 435 House races, 70 or
more of which are classified as competitive; at
least a dozen Senate seats that are competitive;
and many important races for governor.”

This multifaceted story is perfect for online
coverage, which allows users to delve into
a wide array of stories and data. But as the
election approaches, a big focal point for the
team at Msnbc.com has been the creation of
new digital tools to help users sort through
the bewildering array of election stories.

One important initiative is the launch of the
Voter Confidence Index (VCI), which will aggregate
an array of polls and other data to track
how voters feel about President Obama and his
party. “It really measures the American public’s
confi dence in their government,” Ververs notes.

Msnbc.com’s push to make the election
more understandable will also rely heavily
on its recent redesign, which simplifi ed the
flow of information by putting all the aspects
of a single story—text, graphics, video and
data—onto a single page. Explains Paige
West, the Website’s director of creative
development: “It gives users the whole story
on a single page” and makes it “much easier
to comment and share the stories via Twitter
and Facebook.”

 

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