PoliticsHome Ocqur liveblog

An Ocqur-powered liveblog on PoliticsHome

A liveblogging platform which was set up by - at the time - a group of three students earlier this year has announced PoliticsHome as its first commercial partner.

Chief executive and co-founder of Ocqur, Jonathan Frost, who is studying a degree in English literature, said the platform has been in development for "the best part of a year now", and the time had come "to step up a level".

"We started back in January and we felt it was time for us to step up a level, having done testing with newsrooms around the country, on a small-scale basis, and get somebody signed up who was going to give it a more rigorous and regular testing."

Following a month's trial, PoliticsHome has now been confirmed as a commercial partner. Frost added that the Ocqur team have been working with PoliticsHome "to continue improving the platform".

Assistant news editor at PoliticsHome John Ashmore said they have "been very impressed with the liveblogging software Ocqur have produced for us and by the responsiveness of their team to our requests".

"The programme is really user-friendly and it generally takes us about a minute to explain to new staff how to use it, which is really helpful."

Frost added that Ocqur is having ongoing conversations with PoliticsHome on new features and developments.

Reflecting on the impact of this partnership, Frost said: "It's been huge to have somebody who's come along and willing to get involved with us and help us build something that's better."

And Ashmore added: "Given that Ocqur is still in its infancy we're very excited to see what else they go on to produce, although, as I've said, we're very happy with the product and the company as it is."

Meanwhile Ocqur is also talking "to other parties" in the hope of securing further partnerships in the near future.

"This is very much step one of what we hope will be onwards and upwards for Ocqur. We'd like to see other commercial partners signed up by the end of this year and we're still on track to do a public beta in December."

As well as Frost, the founding team behind Ocqur includes chief technology officer Andrew Fairbairn and operations director Joseph Stashko. All three were students when work on the platform first began, but Stashko has since completed his undergraduate degree in journalism.

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