What are Components?
Components are little pieces of functionality that slot into bigger websites.
They are stand-alone tools which can be used within any territory, and translated into any language. Intentionally minimalist and focused, each Component is designed to do one thing really well.
As a developer, you can pick and choose the Components that help with your website’s goals. Use our hosted versions, or install the open source code locally.
Many mySociety websites begin by asking the user for a location (as a postcode or a geographical point), and then matching it to the people responsible for that location.
So for example, FixMyStreet matches the location of a pothole to the council whose job it is to fix it. WriteToThem matches a postcode to the user’s elected representatives in that constituency.
If your website needs that same functionality – maybe you want to tell people who their MP is, or where to find their nearest voting station – MapIt is what you need.
It’s now common for public authorities to publish transcripts online.
You can find court proceedings, minutes of council meetings, and national inquiries very easily – but generally they are in a format such as PDFs or Microsoft Word documents, and that doesn’t make them very suitable for the sorts of things people like to do on the internet these days.
SayIt allows you to present transcripts online so that they are browsable, linkable, searchable and shareable.
You can use it for any written record of a conversation or meeting – even playscripts. Coming soon, you’ll also be able to create a transcript directly from an audio recording.
If you’re building a site that contains information about a government, you’ll soon find that you need to solve a number of problems around presenting “people data”- politicians and their roles, past and present.
PopIt has done all the hard work for you. Input your data, and you don’t have to worry about things like politicans changing parties, or how to display their previous positions.
It’s not just for parliamentary sites, though – PopIt can be used for any group of people that are related in any way: members of organisations, or historical figures, for example.
Our website WriteToThem allows people to write to their elected representatives, even if they don’t know who they are. But we built it within the UK system, and without much thought of re-use, so it wasn’t suitable to be a Component.
Enter WriteIt, from our friends Ciudadano Inteligente in Chile – a much leaner, more accessible piece of code for you to integrate with any website.
WriteIt provides an easy way for your users to contact people in power. Just like WriteToThem, it makes the process very simple, matching users to their representatives by asking for just one piece of information.
You can join in too
Components are a Poplus project initiative.
Poplus, co-founded by mySociety and the Chilean organisation Ciudadano Inteligente, recognises that there are organisations like us in places all around the world.
By collaborating and sharing our software and knowledge, we can all be greatly more efficient.
You can participate in Poplus too.
The more people who do, the stronger the partnership will be, and the more Components we’ll be able to build.
Want to know more?
If you have questions about any of the Components, we can help.