Monday, January 31, 2011

Open GOV in Canada, thanks to Canadian Civil Servants themselves ?

Canadians continue to allow their institutions to operate above public scrutiny, even in this age of open data. Despite this new ray of hope, it seems to be commonly admitted now that Canadians are lagging behind.

From the Winnipeg Free Press:

OTTAWA - Civil servants are forging ahead with an open-data strategy for the federal government while politicians drag their heels on a formal policy.

A parliamentary committee has been studying the issue since last April and resumes debate this week, but documents obtained under Access to Information show that bureaucrats started drafting a plan in July.

Unlike the United States and Britain, Canada has no formal federal policy of making raw, taxpayer-funded data freely available to the public.

Civil servants have realized that needs to change.

At the July meeting to kick off the strategy, they drafted a five-point plan.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Interactive Media Elitism

The mass media elite is slowly collapsing, as the individual cells (that is, us) that prop it up grow to broadcast our own points-of-view on the web, eroding their mass-media model.

Douglas Rushkoff says:

Projects like Wikipedia do not overthrow any elite at all, but merely replace one elite — in this case an academic one — with another: the interactive media elite...
Because our media IS interactive, our individual points-of-view can be collected and directed back at the mass media organs too - to meet them head-on and evoke a response.

I suggest that we start to do this first with our institutions: draw ourselves towards our government services first, to tie them closer to our community as we move forwards in this era of chaotic change.