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The Citizen Experience of Transparency Portals

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  CX, UX, Transparency, Open Data I suppose being a former anthropologist I have an overdeveloped interest in classification and precise descriptions. The citizen experience (CX), the user experience (UX), transparency and open data all have some overlap but are different things. These four concepts intersect in a particular kind of portal. Government transparency portals have been around for some time. Most government transparency portals suffer from many of the same issues: Organizationally driven rather than user driven design Compartmentalized data presented in an opaque, hard to decipher narrative Lack of adherence to modern design standards  Lack of design pattern development, one has to relearn how to use different transparency portals Lack of data normalization and provenance I will walk through these issues after first cleaning up some of the mess regarding definitions and concepts that intersect with government transparency portals. Open Government, Open Data Some transparenc

Open Data Used for Public Good: The Holocaust

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  North Carolina Neighbors: Holocaust Speakers Bureau Two years ago I was introduced to the Holocaust Speakers Bureau as part of a project to document local survivors. Sharon Halperin and Debbie Long of Chapel Hill along with Peter Stein have been instrumental in gathering the media assets for this project. Peter Stein is himself a survivor of the Nazi Holocaust in Prague and is now a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina. Documenting Genocide The purpose of our group is to bring Holocaust survivors to local classrooms, board rooms, churches, mosques, synagogues and community groups so that these survivors can share their experiences. Some of our survivors lived through the hell of a concentration camp. Others were hidden by Christian families (or in one case, by the Quakers), still others managed to emigrate from Europe just as the tight quotas were completely squeezed shut, making a transcontinental journey to their new home in the United States. Can you imagine
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  The Context of CX This month has been a roller coaster of travel, events and awards. I flew home from the  National League of Cities in Seattle  reflecting upon where Open Raleigh will be going in five years and more importantly, next year. Several bloggers have captured several themes I have been mulling  over and I would like to synthesize them into a buzzword I heard coined the other day "the Citizen Experience" or CX. Now this word was mentioned by  Bonner Gaylord in his recent blog article . A search on Bing brings up  Jennifer Pahlka  using the phrase in August 2012. There is now a center of citizen experience. Thinking about CX and open data in the world I live in is quite normal. As a former UX designer and webbie I have built my fair share of interfaces. Reading the context of Councilman Gaylord's definition plays into what other thought leaders within open data and civic engagement have been discussing. It is about the citizen at the end of the day. Plain and

Raleigh Code for America Brigade: Crowdsourcing Open Raleigh

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  Help Build the New Open Raleigh Originally posted to: http://reid.serozi.com/ Raleigh's Open Data Portal Data.RaleighNC.gov , which allows access to city data sets in open and standard ways for non-technical and tech savvy users is undergoing a major site redesign. The new design will require individual data set clean-up, which will require updating all of the 300 data sets to make sure the metadata is updated. Jason Hare, City of Raleigh’s Open Data Program Manager, reached out to the Code for Raleigh Brigade for assistance to help complete the job. Hare said, “Involving citizens in crowd sourcing civic engagement initiatives like Open Raleigh is at the heart of what the program is about.” Join the Code for Raleigh Brigade as we support the City of Raleigh organize hundreds of data sets. Be involved in the City’s Open Raleigh Portal and make an impact in your city. No coding skills required. Just mad civic-minded organization skills needed. The Details When: Thursday, December 5

From Open Data to Better Government: National League of Cities Congress 2013: Jonathan Feldman Guest Blog

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  Jonathan Feldman I’m just returning from a lightning talk and World Cafe session at the National League of Cities Congress of Cities in Seattle, and thought it would be helpful to jot down some thoughts while they’re fresh in my mind. The theme of the session was, “Engaging Residents in Solutions: Using Data and Technology to Improve Local Government.” I was honored to be among some distinguished folks. Harvard Kennedy School’s Stephen Goldsmith stole the show with the best line of the conference when an audience member asked “to what extent should government official’s emails be open?” Goldsmith quipped, “He’s really asking ‘how much democracy can you tolerate?’ “ Ha! Alisha Green , a policy associate with the Sunlight Foundation , introduced the audience to the Foundation’s open data policy guidelines . Jeanne Holm , an evangelist with Data.gov, described cities.data.gov , which federates city data. Pretty cool. And Scott Resnick, a forward-thinking city councilman in Madison, WI

A Response from Mark Wainwright on my ODI and OGP Blog Post:

  From Mark Wainwright I was interested to read your blog post about ODIs, the OGP and open data. It's good to know that people are on the back of the governments about ensuring they follow through with their Open Data commitments. From Jason Hare I welcome Mark's comments as well as those from the OKFN. Where I have represented the OKFN at large I have replaced that wording with OKFN Ireland. My comments are my own and do not reflect the views of any organization or company with which I am affiliated. I look forward to meeting my open data colleagues for a lively discussion on topics relating to the opening of government data. I am hoping the subject centers around governance rather than technology. Good policy always triumphs over technology. MARK'S COMMENT 1: "A couple of things you said surprised me. I don't know that, in the UK at least, the ODI is a watchdog of the government's transparency portal. For sure the ODI are doing great work - I'm just not

The Open Data Institute is Integral to the Open Government Partnership

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  National and regional nodes of the Open Data Institute (@UKODI) must be established in every Open Government Partnership member country. With the  ODI Summit  and the  OGP Summit  occurring during the same week in London at the end of October, I have been thinking about the role the ODI must play in Open Government Data. Let's have a few definitions and a little backstory to the ODI, the OGP and the current state of Open Government Data. Why do we need governance? We are now closing in on the 5th year of a vigorous world wide movement to open data within government. There have been some successes and some mainstreaming. The adoption of open data by default with Whitehouse Memorandum M13-13, the G8 Charter on Open Data and certainly 59 countries agreeing to participate internationally as OGP members are signs that we are moving in the right direction. There is room for improvement. The OGP requirements leave room for interpretation, the Whitehouse has not followed through on signi

CKAN Hackathon for Open Data to Take Place in Dublin

  Friday, 27th September 2013:  A CKAN hackathon takes place tomorrow ( Saturday ,  28th September ) at TCube in Dublin bringing together IT specialists, political representatives and members of the public with an interest in making data open.    Developers, designers, journalists, academics, policy makers, creative thinkers, civil servants, entrepreneurs and interested parties are invited to the event which aims to provide the people of Ireland with a single access point to the information collected by their government by deploying a Central Open Data Portal.  Open, usable and available knowledge will lead to greater transparency for Irish citizens and accountability from Irish representatives.  Hackathon organizer and Ambassador for Ireland of the Open Knowledge Foundation, Denis Parfenov, commented: "We strongly believe that comprehensive and meaningful information has the potential to empower better evidence based decision-making for all of us: about the food we buy and eat, s

Open Data in Practice: Day One

The first day of the training course Open Data in Practice in the Open Data Institute. The first day included 8 hours with short breaks for coffee. Our class of 12 people listened to a few lectures and learned about the world of open data (Discovering Data on the Web). The lectures led by David Tarrant of the University of Southampton were lively and moved along at a brisk pace. The format of the presentation was accessible and an accommodating way to learn about open data, the evolution of the web, data formats, why and where these formats are used. Dave also delivered a separate lecture on related data and the RDF-model of data. This was a much more interesting area of open data. I will organize and publish my thoughts and notes I made ​​during the class. Amazingly, our group included several people I have known only virtually. One of these virtual friends was Jason Hare, who I met on the Internet a few months ago on the basis of open data. He heads a wonderful project on open data o

School Districts and Open Data: CPS Apples2Apples

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In my previous blog posting I discussed some of the problems with accountability data schools generate and the accessibility of that data by parents, business people and tax payers. The accountability portals and school websites do not speak to the issues that these groups of citizens are seeking. Parents in particular are looking for ways to engage with the district and that want that engagement to be data driven. That is, decisions by school administrators, parents, voters on referendums should be based on data rather than Colbert's brilliant fake word "Truthiness". Apples2Apples: The Good Stuff What could a data driven school portal look like? It could be a Socrata or CKAN instance run by the district or parents. One does not have to imagine what a school open data portal would like. +Jeanne Marie Olson pointed me to CPS Apples2Apples . This is an excellent example of open data using open source tools and crowd-sourcing the effort to create an engaging data experienc

School Districts and Open Data

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  The School District Data Deluge I can think of two good reasons why the K-12 vertical is a natural fit for an open data initiative. School performance data: School performance data directly affects the economy through home sales the vitality of a neighborhood community centered around a school. Open data needs to start early as part of the class curriculum and be blended with STEM subjects. Students will need to understand data, how it is consumed and how it can be effectively produced and accessed. Most school districts across North Carolina and elsewhere are still in the process of building their data system technology capacity. An examination of district and state level capacity with respect to data systems needs to take into account the multiple types of systems containing data concerning students and other aspects of the education system. Data is not just generated around student performance and accountability. Public safety, transportation, spending per capita on students, spec