Political debating website
iPolitic is a political debating website, and is the brainchild of its founder, Stephen Alway, who wanted to build a forum for political debate. Much of the methodology of the site is taken from social networking sites such as Facebook, with members signing up and creating their own profile, including uploading an image, which is resized into a small icon image. They are also able to propose debates, vote on proposals, contribute to debates, join networks, follow other members and vote on debates. There is also a page of live feeds from other political sites, and a live twitter feed.

 

The design process was integral in ironing out any issues with the user experience and finalizing exactly how the different features would work. Once we were happy that the site could work we started the programming stage, with the site built on a site platform that the client could see and test at any time. The testing process was complex, and about a dozen people were required to register and test the site at given times.

 

This complex site uses a MySQL database and PHP, a powerful server-side scripting language which allows interaction between the user and the server. The site contains a vast amount of data, and PHP can download and process desired content very quickly, such as data feeds, user records and debate statistics. Background server processes tidy up old database records, check user activity and update a blog aggregator linking to over a hundred separate political blogs.

 

The iPolitic site has now been operational for almost two years, without any problems.

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