About two years ago Parltrack started as another tool trying to get some information that was necessary at that time. Since then the amount and quality of data in Parltrack has come a long way. One year ago, I had to rewrite all the scrapers as the European Parliament upgraded their website. A couple of related tools have been developed, for example Herr Nilsson or - the most widely-known - Political Memory or memopol as we call it. Also ACTA has been defeated. I believe Parltrack contributed a small part to this success. Having recent and good data on the ground was essential for campaigning in and around the European Parliament.
I think Parltrack is a tool with lots of potential. I'd really like to find some more time to just data-mine Parltrack, which was one of my initial motivations when I started this project. As a good friend used to say: most of our work in the commons is financed by pre-accumulated wealth from the traditional system. The peculiar nature of this open data combined with free software makes it somewhat difficult to keep this project sustainable. I've tried Flattr, debated and rejected advertising, offered consulting/custom development jobs, and turns out i'm too small to be eligible for EU funding grants. Depleting resources resulted in a shift of my attention lately to other jobs, however Parltrack seems to be used quite a lot. The lack of maintenance already started showing, so to stop this degradation and to allow me to focus more on Parltrack in the coming year I started an Indiegogo campaign. If you care about freedom, datalove, kittens, puppies, or just me, go here and support this campaign. It will allow me to build more free infrastructure.
Thank you to all my friends who helped me setting up this campaign.