Feb 4, 2009
An interesting few days.
Saturday spent with like-minded public information enthusiasts exploring new ways of using and reusing information here. Not just for the sake of it, but in pursuit of better services, engagement and communities.
Sunday, resting and getting over it, this happens while I’m making lunch. A real-life case study in the power of information – unfolding as I watched.
Monday, trying to forget about the snow this happens.
And Tuesday, this [Note: now broken link to a defunct alpha demonstrator of an aggregation/crowdsourcing application that allowed schools to be found, and their closure status checked/updated] appears. Sure, it needs lots of work on the basics of data, presentation, integrity and reliability. That can come in time. But its existence demonstrates an attitude, not a magic solution to a very difficult information challenge. It’s out there for review and comment by those better qualified than me. The best place for discussing it is here.
This is quite a lot to happen in one week, even given an environment of social media and digital innovation.
There are some themes running through all of this. The power of information seems to be gaining force as a meme. Things don’t have to be done as they always have been. The power of the crowd can add value, and isn’t necessarily something to be afraid of. Mixed models – the ordered and structured alongside the spontaneous and even quirky – might solve old problems in new ways.
Above all, the role of passion and enthusiasm to see things change. And to make things happen. Even if that means at breakneck pace, cutting a few corners and taking some risks.
And even while snowbound. It’s been a great few days. I’m loving the ride.