The year 2010 already brought with it a someinteresting news for eParticipation. The following items where of particular interest:
The UK government launched its own version of an open data portal to be used be NGOs and other public agencies. Data.gov.uk offers many different types of open government data in standardized formats to be used for analysis and applications. It is interesting to note that Sir Tim Berners-Lee is advising the project – This hints at the willingness for true openness!
The bloggers of the Department of International Development (DFID) in the UK discuss the challenges and benefits of blogging as they have experienced them in the last 15 months since their started their blog. They clearly lay out the learning curve and the challenge of free publishing by government staff as well as the “real engagement” they were able to achieve.
Evgeny Morozov of the Georgetown University presented his thoughts on three key assumptions on technology and social change. He asks for a re-examination of: 1. Data will organize itself, 2. Technology will democratize our public sphere and 3. Civil society will flourish on the web.
On April 17th and 18th programmers, hackers, designers, journalists and “other nerds” will meet in Berlin to hack on and explore open and semi-open German government data. The goal is to set up a number of applications using this government data in just two days. Detailed information in German can be found at:
Peter Cruickshank discusses a model of how local issues are debated which he found at e-democracy.org. He relates this model to petitions and finds that is fits in general but argues that they can empower citizens and elected representatives in relationship with the media and administrations.
Darve Briggs points out the importance of mobile devices for government engagement. He especially addresses the fact that some people might cut their web-connected computer in a recession but keep their mobile phone.