Live election night coverage online (Canadian Election)

Anoth­er Cana­dian elec­tion has come and gone. Pro­grammed main­stream media cov­er­age was again, less than inspir­ing. I found that to truly enjoy this nation­al exer­cise, you have to watch it in the com­pany of friends, as you would a Sat­urday after­noon hockey game.

I spent elec­tion night online. Using a vari­ety of free sources, I was able to watch the res­ults as they came in. Using Twit­ter, it was pos­sible to know res­ults in east­ern Canada before the black­out lif­ted here in Alberta.

Here are some of the tools I used to mon­it­or the 40th Cana­dian Elec­tion

  • Twit­ter — ded­ic­ated default com­mu­nic­a­tion chan­nel. CB Radio. Fun. By using Hasht­ags, you can focus your dis­cus­sion to oth­ers who mon­it­or the same Hasht­ag (Chan­nel). The best elec­tion Hasht­ag was #Canada­Votes. Oh, and yes, please do fol­low me on Twit­ter 🙂
  • Tweet­Deck — Twit­ter applic­a­tion that allows you to group, sort, fil­ter, slice and dice your incom­ing Twit­ter flow. In the screen­shot of my elec­tion night desktop, it took up my left-hand 22″ mon­it­or.
  • Google Chrome — hav­ing mul­tiple browser win­dows open at once would prove chal­len­ging to Fire­fox. I have 20+ plu­gins so I run a Fat Fire­fox. Chrome is light­weight and each instance runs inde­pend­ently; if one win­dow crashes, the oth­ers stay run­ning. I had four instances of Google Chrome run­ning in my second mon­it­or (17″) on the right.

Ok, that’s the tools, now what was I doing with them?
I’ve already men­tioned that Tweet­Deck was my main com­mu­nic­a­tions medi­um for the even­ing. The back-and-forth dis­cus­sion amongst people mon­it­or­ing the #Canada­Votes chan­nel was insite­ful and enter­tain­ing. It was great enga­ging with oth­er Cana­dians in a nation­al dis­cus­sion.

On my oth­er mon­it­or, I had Google Chrome run­ning (in clock­wise order):

  • CBC Web­site — live res­ults map of my rid­ings of interest
  • CBC Web­site — live nation­al res­ults map
  • CBC Web­site — live stream­ing TV cov­er­age (sorry, it does­n’t show)
  • Globe & Mail web­site — Live nation­al res­ults chart broken down by party

At one point, I did have anoth­er two win­dows onscreen con­tain­ing Glob­al and CTV cov­er­age, but frankly, there wasn not enough new or insite­ful com­ment­ary, so I reduced the redund­ancy and dumped them.

Over­all, watch­ing the vari­ous media sources and par­ti­cip­at­ing in the Twit­ter traffic was the best way to engage in, what many believe to be, a some­what mundane nation­al exer­cise.

Your turn, what did you use to mon­it­or the res­ults? Tra­di­tion­al media? New media? Com­ments are open!

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Published by Brad Grier geek.hack