Last week, we added a link to our newsletter page in the site footer, set the default to be capped for crowdfunded requests, started adding new payment addresses for agencies, and a number of other small tweaks to the site.
For previous site improvements, check out all of MuckRock’s release notes, and if you’d like to get a list of site improvements every Tuesday - along with ways to help contribute to the site’s development yourself - subscribe to our developer newsletter here.
Changing behavior for crowdfunded public records requests
MuckRock users have been able to put our crowdfunding tools to great use, helping raise thousands of dollars to fund the release of important documents around the country. When you crowdfund the release of documents, we optionally let you raise more than the raw cost of the documents — additional money can go to fund original reporting, analysis, future records requests, and a variety of other things.
In the past, letting campaigns go beyond the goal was the default, but we’ve heard from users that most people just want to raise enough to pay the fees and that’s it, so we’ve changed the default to cap the requests. You can easily override this by just unchecking the appropriate box when setting up your crowdfund.
New address type for where to send payments
A lot of agencies ask that checks be sent to a different address than normal communications. Historically, we’ve had to check this every time a payment goes out. We’re starting to store “payment addresses” for agencies so that we can streamline that process more effectively while reducing errors. We implemented the data type, but we are not yet actually using it — there’s a few more small details to work out.
MuckRock is open source, and you can help us make it better
There are a number of OTHER ways to help us continue to improve the core MuckRock site experience. We have a project and a weekly newsletter, “Release Notes,” that highlights everything we’re working on. Register to get a summary of site updates each week and details on open issues you can help with.
Subscribers to the weekly newsletter get exclusive data sets, FOIA-related scripts, and other transparency hacker tidbits exclusively for subscribers. You can subscribe to the newsletter at the top or bottom of this page.
If you spot a bug or have a feature request, you can also help by opening an issue on GitHub.
If you do, please search open issues first to make sure it hasn’t already been reported. If it has been reported previously, please leave an additional comment letting us know it’s an issue for you, particularly if you can provide more details about when it crops up or what you think is causing the problem.
In addition to the new newsletter, we have a developer channel on the MuckRock Slack.
Image via Wikimedia Commons