W3C eGov: Tom Steinberg of MySociety

Note: These are rough notes from the W3C Workshop on eGovernment and the Web.  It is being held in Washington DC on June 18th-19th.

The thesis is if you build user-focused services good information policy follows.

Its a small UK NGO called MySociety (mysociety.org).  It builds democratic Web sites.

There is the hansard which is the the printed parliamentary debates.  It is now online.  You can link to supplementary links and definitions.   You can make profiles for the members of parliament that lists their voting records, committee memberships, or how active they are.

Data reuse matters.  Information matters.  The best way to get officials to understand is to show them information about themselves which they check obsessively.

At FixMyStreet.com, it will show you what kind of problems are on your street that have been reported by other people.  The problems will be sent to appropriate local official.  This was made with a $10,000 government grant.

There is a good relationship with the government.  You’d think otherwise.   Governments are taught about how to do this.

Tom wrote a report on Information Policy.  There were 15 recommendations.  One was the importance of information sharing and reuse.  There are great tools that are out there to do this.

Most charging regimes for public sector data were created pre-Semantic Web.

MySociety is working on letting more people be aware of the small neighborhood e-mail mailing lists.

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