New StateImpact Platform Features and a Fresh Face for Topics Pages

It’s kind of stun­ning that we’re already near­ing the end of the year. I’m so proud of you reporters for how much you’ve chal­lenged your­self and grown dur­ing your time with StateImpact.

Here in Wash­ing­ton, we’ve kept busy with some fea­tures changes and addi­tions to make your sites even more awe­some. The key changes that are now live on your sites:

1.) Top­ics Pages

We love, love LOVE top­ics pages at StateIm­pact, so dur­ing our most recent devel­op­ment cycle, we gave our pages a facelift. There are two new topic page regions you’ll want to take advan­tage of. One is “Key Sto­ries,” which will allow you to pick out up to three of your favorite sto­ries on a topic and fea­ture them more promi­nently. The sec­ond change is the addi­tion of a right-rail region called “Mul­ti­me­dia,” where you can fea­ture your inter­ac­tive maps and data apps that live on their own URLs. This screen­cast walks you through how it works. You’ll also notice that your fea­tured image for top­ics pages now auto­mat­i­cally sur­faces next to the head­line, which saves you from adding pho­tos into the back­ground area if you don’t want to. In addi­tion, for any top­ics pages that have long back­grounds, you can now add a con­tinue read­ing “jump” in the text so that area doesn’t run as long. Review the map to the new top­ics pages to see all the changes.

2.) Flex­i­ble Leg­isla­tive Modules

In advance of new leg­isla­tive ses­sions in your states, we’ve teamed up with the Sun­light Foundation’s Open States project, which has coor­di­nated devel­op­ers across the coun­try to scrape up-to-date state law­maker and bill infor­ma­tion in all 50 states. The data on law­mak­ers is avail­able to any­one who can pull it down, so that’s what we’ve done in order to cre­ate new leg­isla­tive wid­gets you can include in your posts and topic pages. Any­time you write about a law­maker or a bill, you can give your read­ers more infor­ma­tion about where the bill is in the process, or how to con­tact the law­maker, by cre­at­ing a lit­tle mod­ule. Our doc­u­men­ta­tion walks you through the sim­ple process.

Please try and work in some leg­isla­tive mod­ules into your exist­ing topic pages or upcom­ing posts so you can test out the work­flow and let us know what you think. In addi­tion, we want to hear from you about fea­tures you’d love to see in your back end or on your sites. What’s work­ing, what’s not? Let me know.

  • Anony­mous

    I read the Argo doc­u­men­ta­tion on leg­isla­tive bill/lawmaker mod­ules ear­lier today and am really excited to start using them. I think it will be a great tool!