Alexander Howard – who, in my mind, is the best guy covering the Gov 2.0 space – pinged me the other night to ask “What’s the best evidence of open data leading to economic outcomes that you’ve seen?”
I’d like to hack the question because – I suspect – for many people, they will be looking to measure “economic outcomes” in ways that I don’t think will be so narrow as to be helpful. For example, if you are wondering what the big companies are going to be that come out of the open data movement and/or what (Read more…)
Almost exactly a year ago I wrote a blog post on Canada Post’s War on the 21st Century, Innovation & Productivity. In it I highlighted how Canada Post launched a lawsuit against a company – Geocoder.ca – that recreates the postal code database via crowdsourcing. Canada Posts case was never strong, but then, that was not their goal. As a large, tax payer backed company the point wasn’t to be right, it was to use the law as a way to financial bankrupt a small innovator.
This case matters – especially to small start ups and non-profits. Open North (Read more…)
So let me start by saying, in theory, I LOVE Car2Go. The service has helped prevent me from buying a car and has been indispensable in opening up more of Vancouver to me.
For those not familiar with Car2Go, it is a car sharing service where the cars can be parked virtually anywhere in the city, so when you need one, you just use a special card and pin number to access it, drive it to where you want to go and then log out of the car leaving it for the next person to use it. All this at the
. . . → Read More: eaves.ca: How Car2Go ruins Car2Go
This piece is cross-posted on TechPresident where I post articles on the intersection of politics, technology and transparency and serve as an editor.
Three years ago, after a chance encounter with Daniela Silva and Pedro Markun of Sao Paulo and a meeting with Edward Ocampo-Gooding and Mary Beth Baker in Ottawa, with whom I shared a passion about open data, we agreed to simultaneously host events in our three cities on the same day. It would be a hackathon, and because it would take place in at least two countries … we liberally called it “international” inviting others to join
. . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Open Data Day: Lessons for Hacktivists
I have a piece on TechPresident I really enjoyed writing about how certain technologies – as they become weaponized – can in turn become highly destabilizing to global stability. The current rash of Cyber-Warfare, or Cyber-Spying or Cyber-crime (depending on the seriousness and intent with which you rate it) could be one such destabilizing technology.
Here’s a long excerpt:
This would certainly not be the first time technology altered a balance of military power and destabilized global political orders everyone thought was robust. One reason the world plunged into global war in 1914 after a relatively minor terrorist attack —
. . . → Read More: eaves.ca: How Hackers Will Blow Up The World: China, Cyber-Warfare and the Cuban Missile Crisis
Okay. We are 10 days away from International Open Data Day this February 23rd, 2013. There is now so much going on, I’ve been excited to see the different projects people are working on. Indeed there is so much happening, I thought I’d share just a tiny fraction of it in a little blog post to highlight the variety.
Again if you haven’t yet – please do see if there is an event near you and let the organizer know you are keen to come participate! As you see if you read below, this event is for everyone.
And if you (Read more…)
Almost three years ago (although I only worked up the nerve to post it two years ago, so sensitive is the topic) I wrote a blog post about First Nations youth, and how I suspected they were going to radically alter Canada’s relationship with First Nations, and likely change the very notion of how people understand and think about First Nations peoples.
If you haven’t read that old post, please consider taking a look.
To be clear, I’m not claiming I predicted #idlenomore, but thanks to an amazing opportunity to be part of the Environics Institute and the opportunity
. . . → Read More: eaves.ca: #Idlenomore as an existential threat
I’m traveling for business and that means several things. Most predictably it means come the evening, I’m getting on a tread mill to exercise.
I’m in Edmonton. It’s cold. Like -24C (-11F) cold.
For whatever reason, while running the TV in front of me brings up Til Death Do Us Part a sort of reality TV show about a pleasant but tough financial advisor Gail Vaz-Oxlade who descends upon impoverished couples and families and puts them on a tough regime to get them out of debt. The show is essentially a modern day morality play in which the excesses of the guest couple
. . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Til Debt Do Us Part: Reality Television and Poverty
As many readers are likely aware two weeks ago The Journal News, a newspaper just outside of New York city, published a map showing the addresses and names of handgun owners in Westchester and Rockland counties. The map, which was part of a story responding to the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, was constructed with data the paper acquired through Freedom of Information requests. Since their publication the story has generated enormous public interest, including a tremendous amount of anger from gun owners and supporters. The newspaper and its staff have received death threats, had their home addresses published and details
. . . → Read More: eaves.ca: The Journal News Gun Map: Open vs. Personal Data
Somewhere along the lines I remember learning the line “those who cannot do, teach.” I’m sure there are many instances where this is true, it’s just not what I remember when I think of the great teachers I have had, or my own experience.
Part of this crystallized for me a couple of weeks ago when I had the pleasure of being part of the Academy of Achievement Summit. Of the numerous, insanely gifted people who came and spoke, one was Louise Glück – a poet and former poet laureate of the United States.
After her brief presentation and reading she said
. . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Teach to Do – Lessons from Louise Glück
There continues to be fierce debate about the cost/benefits of newspaper paywalls, a debate Mathew Ingram has been helping drive with a great deal of depth and with excellent links.
It is interesting to watch Ingram take on, and have to rebut, the problematic thinking that seems to so frequently comes out of the Columbia Journalism Review which, sadly, as America’s most important journal on the industry and trainer of next generation journalist, is probably the most conservative voice in the debate. That said, while its contributions are defensive and disappointing, they are understandable. And well, it makes for fascinating reading of
. . . → Read More: eaves.ca: The Beneficial Impact of Newspaper Paywalls on Users
A few weeks ago, I travelled to Vancouver to address a family association and also to give a talk about how we use Tyze Personal Networks to coordinate Nick’s care. I’ve written extensively on Tyze before, but for the uninitiated, Tyze is a softw… . . . → Read More: THE CAREGIVERS’ LIVING ROOM – A Blog by Donna Thomson: Five Tips for Surviving Caregiving
A couple of weeks ago I was asked by one of the city’s near me to sit on an advisory board around the creation of their Digital Government strategy. For me the meeting was good since I felt that a cohort of us on the advisory board were really pushing the city into a place [...] . . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Re-Architecting the City by Changing the Timelines and Making it Disappear
This past week, I had the enormous privilege of being invited to Washington, DC to attend the Academy of Achievement summit. This event – of which I knew nothing before receiving my invite – is an annual gathering of roughly 80 delegates (whose careers have shown some promise) from around the world, along with about an equal number of honorees (those whose accomplishments, in the arts, the sciences, politics and business are widely recognized).
At times, the privilege bordered on indescribable: dining at the US Supreme Court with Justices Sotomayor, Kennedy, and Ginsberg; being invited onto the
. . . → Read More: eaves.ca: The Power of Weakness and the World’s Relationship with America
Today, I have a piece over on Tech President about how the new UK government website – Gov.uk – does a lot of things right.
I’d love to see more governments invest two of the key ingredients that made the website work – good design and better analytics.
Sadly, on the design front many politicians see design as a luxury and fail to understand that good design doesn’t just make things look better, they make websites (and other things) easier to use and so reduce other costs – like help desk costs. I can personally attest to this. Despite
. . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Doing Government Websites Right
Reflecting on yesterday’s case study in broken government I had a couple of addition thoughts that I thought fun to explore and that simply did not make sense including in the original post.
A Government 2.0 Response
Yesterday’s piece was all about how Treasury Board’s new rules were likely to increase the velocity of paperwork to a far greater cost than the elimination of excess travel.
One commentator noted a more Gov 2.0 type solution that I’d been mulling over myself. Why not simply treat the government travel problem as a big data problem? Surely there are tools
. . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Playing with Budget Cutbacks: On a Government 2.0 Response, Wikileaks & Analog Denial of Service Attacks
Once in a while Rex Murphy provides good commentary, as the following on the standard of conduct in Parliament – especially he talks about big-mouth Rob Andres.
“Mr. Rob Anders, Conservative MP, whose reckless mouth is hardly news (he once wanted Nelson Mandela to be labeled a terrorist) went to truly dark territory – both in the viciousness of his insinuation, and the reckless brutality of the thought behind it: he actually accused the Leader of the Opposition Tom Mulcair – of hastening Jack Layton’s death …for Mulcair’s advantage.”
I know it has been a a week since I posted. I want to apologize and explain it is not out of a lack of love, just a tremendous amount of travel. And of course, the fact that I also have this guy to take care of. (And yes, that is us in a plane – although he’s not with me on this trip sadly).
In fact, I want to reiterate what I said during my closing remarks at the Code for America Summit – inspired by the Hold Steady I remarked (maybe even yelled out!) that
. . . → Read More: eaves.ca: There is so much joy in what we do
Over the past year or two I’ve been to a couple of unconferences sessions about how people are increasingly measuring different parts of their lives: how far they run, how they sleep, what they eat, etc… As some readers may be aware, these efforts are often referred to as part of the “Quantified Self Movement.” For those readers less aware (and curious), you can watch Wired Magazine editor and quantified movement originator Gary Wolf give a brief overview in this 6 minute TED talk.
All of this sounds very geeky I’m sure. And as a general data geek
. . . → Read More: eaves.ca: What the Quantified Self Movement Says and Tech and Gender
Last night I discovered that my local newspaper – the Vancouver Sun – was going to require users log in with Facebook to comment. It turns out that this will be true of all Postmedia newspapers.
I’m stunned that a newspaper ownership would make such a move. Even more so that editors and journalists would support it. We should all be disappointed when the fourth estate is unable to recognize it is dis-empowering those who are most marginalized. Especially when there are better alternatives at ones disposal. (For those interested in this I also recommend reading Mathew Ingram’s post, Anonymity
. . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Why Banning Anonymous Comments is Bad for Postmedia and Bad for Society
I have an article titles Lies, Damn Lies and Open Data in Slate Magazine as part of their Future Tense series.
Here, for me, is the core point:
On the surface, the open data movement was about who could access and use government data. It rested on the idea that data was as much a public asset as a highway, bridge, or park and so should be made available to those who paid for its creation and curation: taxpayers. But contrary to the hopes of some advocates, improving public access to data—that is, access to the evidence upon which public
. . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Lies, Damned Lies, and Open Data
Here’s an awesome link to grind home my point from my OSCON keynote on Community Management, particularly the part where I spoke about the importance of managing wait times – the period between when a volunteer/contributor takes and action and when they get feedback on that action.
In my talk I referenced code review wait times. For non-developers, in open source projects, a volunteer (contributor) will often write a patch which they must be reviewed by someone who oversees the project before it gets incorporated into the software’s code base. This is akin to a quality assurance process –
. . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Community Managers: Expectations, Experience and Culture Matter
Virtually all of my blog readers, and for that matter, much of the world, will not know that on August 25 Roger Fisher passed away.
Roger Fisher was a Harvard academic and adviser to presidents and leaders, and perhaps most importantly – because his writings touched so many people – a co-author of Getting To Yes (along with numerous other books) which outlined and made accessible interest based negotiation theory to the world.
Sadly, his wikipedia page is shockingly short on the scope and range of his work and achievements. There is little about his important role advising President Carter
. . . → Read More: eaves.ca: Roger Fisher: 1922-2012