Working On-Site at Socrata

I just finished my slide-deck for my presentation to City Council next Tuesday on Raleigh's new open data portal. I have twenty minutes to present 6 months of work and to showcase what I built with the Socrata team last week. Here are some reflections on my time there.
Visiting Socrata
I went to Seattle to visit my implementation team at Socrata HQ on February 24. I landed in Seattle on Sunday and gave myself a walking tour around the Pioneer Square area that afternoon.

Monday I woke up at 3:30 AM local time and started doing my preparation work. My meeting with Kellie was at 1pm. I finished my day to day work and made my way over to Socrata. I met with Saf, Chris Metcalf and several other folks. Saf made sure I understood two things about visiting Socrata:

Make yourself at home with coffee, snacks or beverages
Follow the recycling bin signage very carefully!
Working with Socrata
Working with Socrata is like being immersed in all of the open data intiatives world-wide all at once. There is a lot of knowledge to absorb. Folks at Socrata want to hear your own open data story as well as impart what they have learned in the field. This follows my own philosophy toward approaching anything. We are all students. People at Socrata are curious and want to learn. Some of my favorite discussions were with Saf on the "ubiquity of data". As well as with Chris Mathias and Kellie Fontes on "anthropology and policy". Chris Metcalf's discussion with me of schema adoption was also extremely helpful.

I came away with knowing more about how open data is being implemented in the US and learning how open data standards and schema get adopted organically.

Would I do it Again?
In a heart-beat. I hope to return and learn about GovStat and DataSlate. The only thing I would do different is schedule more time with the key players and have a more structured visit. I am looking forward to learning about DataSlate.


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