April 18, 2013

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New Features on Politix: Debate Visualizations & “Vote Up” an Article

We’re thrilled to let you know about a few new features just launched on Politix.

Vote Up an Article: Like an article? Vote it up! Just like you can vote up a user’s comment on an article, you can now vote up an article itself to indicate that you like the story, you’re interested in that topic, you liked the headline – really any reason you like. To give it a try, look for the “Vote Up” link above the poll or question box.

Debate Maps: A beloved site feature! Our engineers have been working into the wee hours of the morning to enhance your experience around the debates. Now when you view a debate, you’ll be able to vote and access the debate results all on one page.

New Debate Results: The demographic survey Politix users fill out on registration helps us give us great insight into the trends behind voting on Politix. Now you can see these trends in a more dynamic way. Just hover over the US map and go state by state to see the pie chart “donut” change in real time to reflect the votes. Animated histograms and pie charts let you see how the voters break down by age, party, and gender. We hope these will provide interesting insights into voting trends on a range of issues debated on Politix.

New Debate Maps

New Debate Maps

Test out the new changes and let us know what you think – we love your feedback!

April 9, 2013

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Introducing PopVox on Politix

On Politix we talk a lot about political issues that matter to you, but what makes Politix unique is when you share your opinions. We like hearing your opinions so much that we want to make sure more people hear what you have to say. To that end, we are excited to announce our newest partnership with PopVox, an organization dedicated to bridging the gap between input the public wants to provide and the information our elected officials need to hear. PopVox is now making it possible for you to share your opinions with your political representatives. When you read an article about pending legislation on Politix, you’ll see our new PopVox widget at the bottom of the article. Popvox Widget When you click on the widget it takes you right to PopVox, where you can learn more about the bill and directly contact your elected representatives to let them know your stance on the issue. PopVox It’s a tool the Politix team is proud to bring to our users to make it easier than ever to have your voices heard and ensure that your votes count. We believe more voices in the political process is always a good thing.

Today’s Politix blog post comes from Schuyler Hudak, Director of Business Development for Politix and Topix.

March 8, 2013

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Happy Birthday, Politix!

Today we celebrate the one year anniversary of Politix. And what a year it’s been.

Politix launched in early 2012 as your hub to keep up with political news, interact with others, and make your opinions known about issues that are important to you. People caught on fast and jumped right in, and by the time the 2012 election season rolled around things had really kicked into high gear with record traffic, signups, and site interactions.

And we haven’t had a break since. As Anthony Ha noted in his recent TechCrunch article, “Community Site Topix Sees 40 Percent Year-Over-Year Traffic Growth As Political Focus Pays Off“, traffic on Politix and Topix is still growing rapidly since the election season ended in November:

Topix, a site for locally focused online discussion that first launched in 2004, has seen significant traffic growth in the past year. According to CEO Chris Tolles, that’s because of the big bet that the site made on political coverage and discussion.

Traffic grew 40 percent between December 2011 and December 2012, the company says, and there were 12.4 million unique visitors in January. Those visitors are spending an average of 11.5 minutes on the site each month, and a lot of that activity is coming from smartphones — in fact, the company says that more than half of its traffic is mobile.

Back in 2011, Tolles was already telling me that political content was driving the site’s traffic growth, and that he was trying to find the right product and content strategy to take advantage of that interest. That ultimately resulted in the launch of politics-focused sub-site Politix, where users can share political articles, fill out polls, and comment on the news without being (in Tolles’ words) “that guy on Facebook” who’s always annoying his friends with political commentary.

So what have we been up to here at Politix HQ since launch? Take a look at some highlights:

New Apps

We built a full suite of mobile apps so you can keep your political news in your pocket. Have you downloaded them yet? Check out the Politix apps for iPhone, iPad, and Android.

New People

David Mark came on board from Politico as Politix Editor-in-chief in July 2012. Besides overseeing our crack staff of writers, he represents Politix by providing his political expertise in interviews and appearances on dozens of radio, TV, and news shows and sites including The Sean Hannity Show, CBS News, NBC Bay Area, and The Daily Beast. He’s also working to build a growing stable of expert guest contributors, offering insightful Op-Ed posts to supplement our daily flurry of in-house Politix articles.

New Features

At launch, Politix offered users a way to participate via Debate Maps and article commentary. You wanted more, and over the last year we’ve been busy building additional interactive features, including quizzes, mini polls, and forums.

And you’ve sure been busy using ‘em! Let’s look at some numbers:

  • 3869 articles written
  • 270,140 comments made
  • 209,935 debate map and mini poll votes cast
  • 39,124 quizzes taken
  • 4,328 late night cans of Red Bull consumed by the Politix team (Our tireless Senior Editor Mary Noble may be responsible for 89.7% of those cans… )

But we’re not done yet. We’ve got plenty of tricks up our sleeves planned for year two, and we can’t wait to show you what’s next.

Happy Birthday, Politix. Our baby’s growing up!




February 6, 2013

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Introducing the Politix Forum

We’re excited to be unveiling a few new features! Especially for our regular commenters, these new changes make it faster for you to find the content you’re looking for and easier for you to have your political discussions and debates.

Introducing the Politix Forum: A new homebase for your political discussions and debates.

In the Politix Forum, you can carry on discussions about every article, debate, and quiz long after they’ve rolled off of our front page. Here you’ll see the comments on an article or debate presented in chronological order (first to last), instead of the nested replies you’ve been seeing. This is a bird’s eye view of the discussion – now you won’t need to click back and forth to read each comment and its replies. The Forum is currently in Beta – test it out and let us know what you think! We’ll be adding forum access to our iPhone and Android apps and our mobile site soon.


Use the search bar at the top of the page to find the articles, debates, and quizzes you’re looking for:

Comment History

Like what someone has to say? Now you can see any user’s complete comment history by viewing the new Comments tab on his or her profile page. Get a feel for another user’s point of view, see how active your friends are on Politix, or navigate back to your own brilliant comments.

We hope you like the new changes – please let us know if you have any feedback for us, we love hearing from you. Now get in there and start posting!

December 14, 2012

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Politix Hosts a Technology & Politics Event in San Francisco

by Michael Mayday

December 13, 2012

Politix came to San Francisco to discuss politics and technology. A politically-wired crowd gathered after work hours at Kokkari, near San Francisco’s iconic Transamerica Pyramid.  Expert guests included Paul Henderson, deputy chief of staff to San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, All Things Digital Senior Editor Arik Hesseldahl, Jeff Harris, Chief Executive Officer of the Junior State of America, and KKSF radio host Gil Gross, on whose 4-7 p.m. show Politix Editor-in-Chief David Mark is a regular guest. The crowd was welcomed by the Politix crew, including Mark, Senior Editor Mary Noble, and Staff Writers Michael Mayday and Dain Fitzgerald .

Harris discussed the need for civil political discourse, and how the Junior State of America aims to instill responsible political engagement among students across the country by fostering a love for news and politics. Talking with Politix Senior Editor Mary Noble, Harris also touched on a notable trend among many students: a liberal acceptance of social issues like gay marriage and a movement among some towards fiscal conservatism. Dan Zoll, Senior Producer for KQED’s Forum, briefly touched on the state of modern journalism, and what role aggregation and curation could play in its future. Zoll also touched on the importance of being able to identify the most pertinent news for debate while keeping it fresh on a daily basis.

Ian Magruder, Business Development Manager of Organizer, discussed how software and mobile technology is speeding up campaign canvassing by taking paper out of the equation. He also talked about how the first true social media election could be found in Howard Dean’s 2004 bid for the Democratic party’s presidential nomination and how digital get-out-the-vote applications aren’t as simple as one would assume.

It’s exciting to be out here in the Bay Area as technology plays a bigger role in all our lives. It’s even more exciting to witness the marriage of politics and technology firsthand, and seeing how both can improve and engage the citizenry. We look forward to hosting more events like these, and, of course, encouraging more discourse over the matters of our times.

November 19, 2012

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The Politix 2012 Election Roundup

The election results are in – and here at Politix, we enjoyed seeing record traffic, record signups, and record site interactions around the Nov. 6th elections! We had great coverage on election news – here are some of the highlights:

The Presidential Election

Users from all sides have been weighing in on our post-election debate map: Are you happy that President Obama has been re-elected? So far, 52% of voters say they are not happy, 45% are happy with the results, and 3% have mixed feelings. If you haven’t voted yet, weigh in now!

Election Results: State, Local, and National

From gay marriage laws to recreational marijuana laws to new State & Local Officials, November 6th was a night of firsts. How closely did you follow the results? Take our quiz and see what you know – and what you don’t know – about the election results.

Take the Election Results Quiz

You can also vote in our Gay Marriage debate map and our Recreational Marijuana debate map, and weigh in on how you would vote in if these laws were on the table in your state. Check out our Election 2012 stream to see more coverage from the elections & their aftermath.

Politix Election Contest

Leading up to the big day, we ran an election contest, and Politix user fsmakati correctly predicted the outcome for all 50 states in the presidential race! They won a $100 Amazon gift card – kudos to fsmakati for your Nate Silver-like prediction abilities!

November 3, 2012

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We’re Off to the Local Races!

Having gained expertise in all things Local through Topix, we’ve been hard at work building the place for you to vote & weigh in on your local elections. We’re excited to bring you our Politix Election 2012: Citizen Sound Off! You can check it out by clicking here.

Now, you can vote and check out user sentiment on Senate racesGovernors races, and can check out your Local Ballot to vote on your local Elected Officials.

This is what democracy is all about! Vote, comment, and let your voice be heard.

Vote Now on Your Local Election Ballot

November 1, 2012

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Our Editor-in-Chief talks politics with CBS News


Last night our Editor-in-Chief, David Mark, joined CBS News’ Up To The Minute to discuss the impact of Hurricane Sandy on the final days of campaign 2012. You can catch the video here.

October 29, 2012

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Street Fight: Topix Expands Emphasis on Local Races in Runup to Election

Noah Davis from Street Fight recently covered our new Elected Officials Map feature, and interviewed our CEO, Chris Tolles, for the scoop on our plans for local races. for a preview of some Local Races features that will be coming out later this week. Chris gives a sneak peak of what the new features will entail:

Two years ago on Topix we put up the local races, and asked what people thought about their local Congressional race or their local assembly race. We have a whole new framework now. We built a local core group of people who are interested in the national issues, and now we are building out all the local races and the interactive functionality around the local races. We can leverage the Topix audience to that. That is going to come out soon. With all the focus on the national election, a lot of people are just now starting to follow the local races.

Read up on Noah’s full interview with Chris on Street Fight.

October 22, 2012

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Cool Online Tools for Young Voters

BachelorsDegreeOnline recently wrote up a list of 20 cool online tools to help get youth up to speed on the details of American democracy, and we’re excited to see Politix listed among them:

They write “Politix takes election news aggregating one step further by letting you filter the news that’s important to you by candidate, location, or issue.” Check out the full list of online election related tools here.