Government 2.0 Taskforce » Crowdsourcing http://gov2.net.au Design by Ben Crothers of Catch Media Tue, 04 May 2010 23:55:29 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.8.6 en hourly 1 Not for Profit PSI Contest Announcement http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/12/21/not-for-profit-psi-contest-announcement/ http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/12/21/not-for-profit-psi-contest-announcement/#comments Sun, 20 Dec 2009 23:25:27 +0000 Lisa Harvey http://gov2.net.au/?p=1581 It was very pleasing to see the number of proposals that were submitted for our not-for-profit contest.  It shows that there is not only strong demand for public sector information in this important sector of the Australian economy, but also great potential for them to contribute to public policy development and Government service delivery if we can just make it easier for them to access relevant PSI.

There were some really good ideas put forward that showed creativity and had a clear sense of purpose. Some of the better ideas that caught the eye of the Taskforce were:

  • Yearn to learn (from psinclair) – An online register of skills shortages and how to obtain skills in high demand;
  • Surf Life Saving NSW – Rescue Package (from kstorey) – Data to improve the recruiting and deployment of lifesavers;
  • Status of Women (from diann) /Index of Women’s Health and Well-being (from rose.durey) – two similar proposals for a website providing a comprehensive of index of women’s health issues and data
  • Data on Disabled Drivers and Permits (from wpeacock658) – Aggregated data on disabled drivers, vehicle modifications and parking/access schemes to assist local planning and national road policies.

Of course not everyone fully grasped the concept we were trying to get across, but that is all part of the process of crowdsourcing innovation. Nonetheless, even those who were wide of the mark put forward some interesting ideas for aggregating data and providing services that policy makers should be paying more attention to. Of particular interest was the number of proposals for directories. Unfortunately this type of project is notoriously difficult to maintain and to achieve ongoing funding for, so these ideas couldn’t be taken any further by the Taskforce.

But the idea that we chose as the winner of this contest was “Indicators of social inclusion in local geographic areas for planning an evaluating community services” from hmcguire, which proposed that data should be published on key social indicators based on local geographic areas so it can be made available to community organisations, policy makers, and government funding bodies.

Social data is an incredible rich and complex resource and the community sector could benefit from access to it in many ways. At the moment this data is spread over many agencies. The idea presented seems to me to be an aggregator of data. This approach has several potential benefits for the community sector – it can reduce the time required to find the data needed, and the duplication of many organisations doing the work of finding the same pieces of data; it can create a place for educating the sector in the use of data (this is very important); and last but not least, access to good data in the community sector will result in better decision making and better placement of limited funding and better outcomes for the disadvantaged. While I know this raises the Cathedral/bazaar argument again, this is not so much about data brokering, but more about capacity building.

Congratulations to hmcguire for putting forward a very topical and useful proposal – the charity/not-for-profit of your choice will receive a cash donation of $5,000 courtesy of the Taskforce, and you will also be contacted by Connecting Up Australia who have been commissioned by the Taskforce to provide consulting services to assist you with progressing your idea.

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From draft to final report http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/12/20/from-draft-to-final-report/ http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/12/20/from-draft-to-final-report/#comments Sun, 20 Dec 2009 06:43:01 +0000 Nicholas Gruen http://gov2.net.au/?p=1597 Well we put the finishing touches to the final report on Friday and it’s been working its way through the proofing and designing stage.

We will be ready to provide the finished report to Ministers Tanner and Ludwig on Tuesday, 22 December 2009.

We have tightened the structure as described below. This makes the argument flow better and reduces repetition. We’ve got quite a bit more content in using about the same number of pages. We propose three pillars – a trinity if you’re feeling at all theological at this time of year which are the foundations of getting to Government 2.0:

1. Leadership,

2. Engagement and

3. Open access to public sector information.

Here’s the final report structure:

Executive Summary

The co-existence of an executive summary and a prologue was always a bit odd and so there’s a new executive summary.  It includes some material from the prologue (other prologue material has mainly disappeared. It’s a short and snappy seven pages. I vacillate between thinking it needs to spell out our argument more and making it short and assertive. They like the latter more in public service land, so that’s how it is.

Recommendations

The old executive summary was the recommendations summarised reported against the terms of the terms of reference. The new structure allows us the more usual course which is to provide a complete list of recommendations after the executive summary.  There’s a concordance of terms of the terms of reference and recommendations in the appendices.

There are a few small changes of drafting to improve expression, strengthen meaning, or respond to points from comments and submissions on the draft report.

1 What is Government 2.0?

This chapter is a little more focussed than it was in the draft report.

2 How Does Australia Compare Internationally?

More comprehensive chapter than draft report version and includes the chapter in the draft report “The Australian policy context”.

3 The Foundations of Government 2.0

This is a new chapter which summarises those arguments about the challenges of introducing Government 2.0 which were scattered mainly in chapters 6 and 7 in the old draft – though there are a few that were also in the corresponding earlier chapters 3 and 4.

4 Promoting Online Engagement

Bringing together and condensing the factual material in chapters 3 and 7 in the draft.

5 Managing Public Sector Information (PSI) as a National Resource

Bringing together and condensing the factual material in chapters 4 and 8 in the draft.

6 Open Government Enablers

Previous chapter 9: accessibility, security, privacy and confidentiality; information / records management; info-philanthropy; and.

7 Innovation and the Taskforce Experience

This new chapter explores our own attempts to model Government 2.0, and tries to offer a candid assessment of our successes and failures.

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Online engagement as a public service pathway: the column http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/12/18/online-engagement-as-a-public-service-pathway-the-column/ http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/12/18/online-engagement-as-a-public-service-pathway-the-column/#comments Fri, 18 Dec 2009 04:53:35 +0000 Nicholas Gruen http://gov2.net.au/?p=1587 Here’s today’s column in the SMH, which the SMH slightly edited down.

Who is Julie Hempenstall? She lives in Bendigo and she likes reading Australia’s historic newspapers. The National Library has hoisted its collection on the net and had them digitised by computers. I can see what keeps her there. Hard at work drafting this article I just spent the last hour reading about early Sydney – about the Governor’s plan for a school for aboriginal boys and girls to “improve the Energies of this innocent, destitute, and unoffending race.” It wasn’t a raging success.

Anyway, the computer digitisation of that article was full of mistakes. Why? Optical character recognition isn’t perfect even with clean print and certainly not with two hundred year old, stained, yellowed newspapers with antiquated fonts – or fontfs as it was printed in 1788. But people like Julie have pored over the articles and the Library’s clever ‘crowdsourcing’ website allows them to correct mistakes they find.

It’s addictive. I found the obituary of an extraordinary Englishman William Stanley Jevons who was an architect of modern economics. He turned up in Sydney in his teens in 1854 and was a busy fellow. He became assayer to our mint, was newspaper photographer in Australia (strictly a hobby) and the first to document the El Nino effect. Reading all the digitised mistakes I just couldn’t help myself. He didn’t gain an honorary degree from the “Umversity of Odinburgh”. It was the University of Edinburgh. Anyway it’s fixed now.

This bit of crowdsourcing has been a huge success. Without so much as an official launch:

  • In the first month in 2007 over 200,000 lines of text were corrected in 12,000 articles. By the six month mark 2 million lines had been corrected in 100,000 articles.
  • At no point since the first few days has there been a time when text correction is not taking place. It goes on 24/7.
  • Over a fifth of users log in from offshore – with growing communities of participants from the United Kingdom, United States of America, New Zealand and Canada. One of the top ten correctors was based in the US.
  • The top ten text correctors were correcting significantly more text than all other users spending up to 45 hours a week on the activity.
  • No vandalism of text was detected in 6 months so no roll back to previous versions or moderation was required.

Oh – and our Julie from Bendigo emerged as a leading contributor from early on in the project. When I last heard she’d corrected over a quarter of a million lines of code.

All this is a microcosm of how the world’s governments are starting to get with the vibe of ‘Web 2.0’. Web 1.0 comprised websites and e-mail. Today Web 2.0 is a platform of blogs, wikis and social networking tools for collaboration between all and sundry – often people who’ve never met and never will. Who knew that we’ve had an encyclopaedia in us just waiting to get out on a wiki? We all know now.

But we’ve only just begun thinking about what Web 2.0 might mean for the business of governing. Julie Hempenstall gives me a way of explaining just one set of possibilities considered by the Government 2.0 Taskforce.

For there are a two things we know about Julie’s work. We know she does it for its own sake – after all no-one’s paying her. And it’s very likely that, in addition to this intrinsic motivation, she’s also motivated by making some small contribute to the community. (All the respondents to the National Library’s survey of major contributors listed this as one of their motivations).

Now intrinsic motivation and civic mindedness are valuable things pretty much anywhere – but particularly around government.

We still don’t understand that much about intrinsic motivation or of how to maximise it in the workforce, but it seems clear that it is critical to highly skilled activity. The author of a groundbreaking book on volunteer built open source software (like Linux and Firefox) Eric S. Raymond, attributes much of the superiority of open source modes of working to intrinsic motivation:

‘Fun’ is . . . a sign of peak efficiency. Painful development environments waste labor and creativity; they extract huge hidden costs in time, money, and opportunity.

In the world of open source the ethic of voluntarism and the improvisational and open nature of online collaboration have led to a culture in which social recognition is a function of the quality of contribution as judged by the community around a particular project whether it’s Wikipedia, Linux software or some community congregating around a blog or blogs. Formal status doesn’t rate as it does within organisations.

In the future I’d like to see governments draw volunteer enthusiasts from the community more closely and explicitly into their own activities in policy design and service delivery. And they can go further still. Shouldn’t the best volunteer contributors – whether they’re correcting text or discussing policy alternatives – be afforded greater recognition? Over time we could see if they were interested in being given greater responsibility just as public servants are offered promotions? This could widen the pool of available talent to the public service and provide alternative pathways for recruiting people and developing their skills and authority.

If those pathways of promotion were built, as structures of authority are built in the world of Web 2.0 they would be based on self-selection, enthusiasm and a record of aptitude and contribution in the field. Firms in the Web 2.0 world are successfully experimenting with means of adapting aspects of this kind of volunteerism to their own organisational structures.

Thus for instance Google and the Australian global software maker Atlassian allow employees to spend one day a week on projects which are for the firm’s benefit, but which they are free to choose. Those with a creative idea can work on it and, equally important persuade others to use their own time to collaborate. The process can create many of the organic possibilities and associations typical of the undirected spontaneous activity of markets and civil society. It’s certainly created a lot of Google’s myriad products.

Introducing “Google time” by edict into the public service would probably just reduce productivity. So we recommended a much more incremental approach, proposing that government agencies give their staff opportunities to experiment and improvise with Web 2.0 tools to enhance their agencies’ work.

I wonder how long it will be before we get our first head of a government department who first came into the orbit of the public service as an ‘online Web 2.0 volunteer’.

Julie Hempenstall where are you?

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Engage: Getting on with Government 2.0: Draft report for comment http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/12/07/draftreport/ http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/12/07/draftreport/#comments Sun, 06 Dec 2009 22:39:34 +0000 Peter Alexander [Taskforce Secretariat] http://gov2.net.au/?p=1435 Here is the draft Government 2.0 Taskforce report Engage: Getting on with Government 2.0. The Taskforce is seeking your comments and input before finalising the report to go to Government.

Please understand that this is a draft and there will be some proofing issues which we are still working on.  Your comments are welcome on those, but we are working on them as you read this – of most value are your comments on the substance of the draft report.

We are providing it to you in a range of formats below.  The prime document which we’ve been working from is the Word document. We have also converted it into HTML (both here on the blog and on CommentPress) and PDF. You may notice formatting differences between the different versions. You can leave a comment on the HTML version below; on our Consultation page using CommentPress; or you can send us an email.

Your comments will help inform and improve the final report. We cannot promise to consider comments received after 5PM Wednesday 16th December 2009.

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Draft Report – out on Monday http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/12/05/draft-report-out-on-monday/ http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/12/05/draft-report-out-on-monday/#comments Sat, 05 Dec 2009 13:28:42 +0000 Nicholas Gruen http://gov2.net.au/?p=1425 Hi all,

The draft report will be released this Monday and we will be welcoming comments until at least Wed 17th December.

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Structured Brainstorming Competition: Congratulations to all our winners! http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/11/19/structured-brainstorming-winners/ http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/11/19/structured-brainstorming-winners/#comments Thu, 19 Nov 2009 02:01:25 +0000 Peter Alexander [Taskforce Secretariat] http://gov2.net.au/?p=1371 The Structured Brainstorming competition we ran through our IdeaScale page was a great experiment in reaching out to the crowd and seeing what ideas they (you!) had to contribute to the work of the Taskforce.  There were some intriguing ideas put forward, including suggestions for new Government projects and services that have provided us with some food for thought. Today I’m happy to announce the winners of the first two prize categories on offer (with the Not for Profit PSI and Web 2.0 Accessibility Makeover category winners on track to be announced in early December).

To refresh your memory, the first round of the contest had two categories with prizes attached. The Brainstorming category was aimed at project ideas that the Taskforce could fund in line with its terms of reference. Meanwhile, in the Gov 2.0 Innovators category we were looking for nominations for agencies, projects or individuals who have done valuable work and have been champions for the Gov 2.0 cause. When judging both of these categories the Taskforce took into account both your voting and the quality of the ideas themselves.

And the winners are…

Brainstorming Category

There were two winning ideas in this category, both nominated by Brad Peterson.  They were:

The Taskforce would like to congratulate Brad for these ideas. They are great examples of practical initiatives which could help the Australian Government improve its online presence and help Australia in the move towards open government.

And Brad, if you’re reading this, we’ve tried to get in touch with you but haven’t been able to…please send us an email from the account you used to submit the ideas so we can get you your prizes!

Gov 2.0 Innovators

This was an interesting one. After giving it some consideration, the Taskforce couldn’t narrow it down to just one winner. So instead we have three, spread across different categories:

In the view of the Taskforce, ABC Pool is a great example of a publicly-funded agency using Web 2.0 tools to revolutionise the way it does business. Mosman Municipal Council deserves recognition for its impressive Community Engagement Strategy, which involves using a range of online tools and techniques to reach out to the local community and involve them in the business of government. In the individual category, Craig Thomler is notable for his tireless and enthusiastic commentary and involvement in the Gov 2 space in Australia, through his blog eGov AU and other channels.

Thanks to j2.coates for submitting the ABC Pool and Mosman City Council nominations, and Nathanael Boehm for nominating Craig Thomler. We’ll be getting in touch with the winners soon to talk about awarding their prizes, as discussed in the original Gov 2 Innovators blog post.

As well as congratulating our winners in both categories, the Taskforce would like to thank everyone who submitted an idea, or commented or voted on ideas. Government 2.0 is all about the interaction between people and their government, and from our point of view the engagement and enthusiasm of the online community has been an inspiration to the Taskforce as it goes about its work.

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Help wanted: Stories for Government 2.0 http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/10/06/help-wanted-stories-for-government-2-0/ http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/10/06/help-wanted-stories-for-government-2-0/#comments Tue, 06 Oct 2009 02:25:54 +0000 Nicholas Gruen http://gov2.net.au/?p=1131
Location of identified cholera infections by address (London)

Location of cholera infections by address (London)

Ed Parsons of Google Europe gave the Taskforce an excellent presentation last Friday and it began with a telling example. In the nineteenth century the epidemiologist John Snow mapped the places in London where there had been incidents of Cholera.  An opponent of the ‘miasma’ theory which held that cholera spread by people breathing foul air, his map demonstrated pretty powerfully that the cholera outbreak in Soho was related to a single water outlet on was able to argue convincingly that the source of the outbreak as the public water pump on Broad Street (which Wikipedia helpfully informs us is now Broadwick Street).

The anecdote appealed to me because it made the point that the information agenda is ageless – information has been improving our lives for a very long time. The example also shows how much information improves our lives, not just the bottom line. And it shows how setting information out in some new way can ‘unlock’ its worth to us.  Snow’s 19th century equivalent of a ‘mashup’ gave us eyes to ’see’ the evidence in a powerful new way. It’s stories like this that will be crucial for getting our message across.

I can think of plenty of examples like this, but I wanted to ask you guys if you can give us your favourite examples. We’re after examples where ‘mash-ups’ or other Web 2.0 phenomena have made a big difference to some aspect of economic and social life.

There’s also what we’ve called ‘online engagement’. I’ve already used the example of the National Library’s use of online volunteers to correct digitised newspapers. I think such examples could be taken much further, with pathways to involve the best of such volunteers who were well disposed to the idea to greater levels of involvement, including in a deliberative as well as a ‘service provision’ capacity. But at least in the case of the NLA so far, that’s hypothetical. Who has taken this further and how?

Another example that’s often mentioned is the way the NZ Police used a pubic public wiki to help refine their new Police Act. It’s a good story, and good on them for doing it, but in fact when talking to the people there, its motive was a ‘marketing’ one, of getting the story of the consultation out there – and it succeeded brilliantly – all the way to the New York Times. But the public deliberation on the wiki did not lead to a substantial number of refinements to the Act.

So where are some better examples of the potential for online engagement to improve the outcomes of government service delivery and policy making?

Anyway, I’d really appreciate as many compelling examples of Government 2.0 making a difference as you can provide.

(I wonder if there are any stories which can be told in some kind of repeated form – “before Government 2.0 this agency did that with this effect, but now it does this with much better effects”.)

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2020 Summit : What might have been http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/10/02/2020-summit-what-might-have-been/ http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/10/02/2020-summit-what-might-have-been/#comments Fri, 02 Oct 2009 03:00:23 +0000 Lisa Harvey http://gov2.net.au/?p=1126 At the time of the 2020 Summit last year I blogged a lot . It was an unprecedented gathering of thought and optimism and a demonstration of how a grand idea can become a reality, and also a demonstration of how momentum can be lost in the process.

Getting 1000 people to collaborate on ideas for 2 days was a risk. It was well choreographed and the outputs were sanitised for the media. The risks were managed efficiently. But in spite of that it was an enormous outpouring of public voice. The exchange between delegates, the volume of submissions, the satellite events leading up and the online discussion that took place beforehand, all left a deep impression on me and many others.

In many ways it was a Gov2.0 experiment. Crowdsourcing ideas, open discussion, engagement between government and people. It’s flaws were that it was Gov2.0 without exploiting technology and without continuing the discussion.

Before the event we were given access to an online discussion forum. It was a place where stream leaders (if they were interested) posted ideas and started discussions. Some were better than others at this. Some discussion was lively. Many connections were made. But the site was difficult to navigate, late in starting, accessed by few and there were controls over the interaction – for example, we could not interact with members of other streams, which was frustratingly limiting. The most important failing was that the forum was shut down only days after the event. There was plenty of momentum at the time, but nowhere to direct it.

If the 2020 Summit were held today many things would be different and there would be much less tolerance of a lack of online engagement. Before during and after the event Twitter, live blogging and other tools that take events beyond the boundaries of walls, would play a much greater role. Collaboration online for submissions and brainstorming ideas, capturing the conversation in different places, sharing and discussion by a much wider audience would create a stronger interaction between participants and populous, making the whole thing more democratic. A kind of uncontrolled, spontaneous online discussion of it all would occur, which is how it should be.

For me the conversation was the strength of the process, all the conversations. I was happy to have them online and offline with whoever was around to participate.

There was a great deal of focus on the event itself, and the physical gathering of people together was intensely powerful. It created a momentum that simply fizzled out as the transcripts, the notes, the submissions and the discussions were whisked away into the rules and structures of the public service to be processed and analysed.

Eventually a report was released, long after most people had lost interest. It was a bit of an anti-climax really. It was great experiment in open government but not followed with the transparency and accountability that is necessary in true open government.

So I’d say to the Prime Minister, thank you for giving us a voice, for crowdsourcing ideas, for creating an environment of collaboration and innovation. Please do it again, but next time let’s talk for longer, before and after with more people, let the collaboration continue much further into the process with wider participation and use technology to seed conversations everywhere. Let’s turn this first step in participatory democracy into a movement. Let it evolve naturally into something uniquely Australian. Embrace the risk, and see what happens.

Led from the top it could create profound change in the way government engages with the community, and the way the community engages with government.

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Recognising the volunteers: Jhempenstall is my hero – who is yours? http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/09/29/recognising-the-volunteers-jhempenstall-is-my-hero-who-is-yours/ http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/09/29/recognising-the-volunteers-jhempenstall-is-my-hero-who-is-yours/#comments Mon, 28 Sep 2009 16:07:35 +0000 Nicholas Gruen http://gov2.net.au/?p=1093 I’ve been aware for some time of the National Library’s project for digitising old Australian newspapersBut I only recently read the great story of the project told in this article by Rose Holley (pdf) who was appointed in 2007 to manage the program.

From establishing the project at the beginning of 2007 with no idea about inviting the public in to correct errors in the optical character recognition (OCR) done by machines on contract to the NLA, the project is growing into a fabulously successful venture in which unpaid volunteers from the public play a major role in correcting the errors that fancy OCR software can’t get right (though it’s much improved from an aborted attempt to digitise newspapers in 1996).

Here are some highlights from Rose Holley’s write-up.

  • In the first month of use over 200,000 lines of text was corrected in 12,000 articles, by the end of 6 months 2 millions lines of text had been corrected in 100,000 articles.
  • At no point since release of beta has there been a time when text correction is not taking place. It continues 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
  • 78% of users were based in Australia but there was also a growing international community with users in the United Kingdom, United States of America, New Zealand and Canada. One of the top ten correctors was based in USA.
  • The top ten text correctors were correcting significantly more text than all other users spending up to 45 hours a week on the activity. The top corrector at the end of 6 months had corrected 101,481 lines in 2594 articles. The same correctors remained in the top five for the first 6 months.
  • No vandalism of text was detected in 6 months so no roll back to previous versions or moderation was required.

Reading about it, I’m struck by the way in which the NLA stumbled upon the idea. If they’d not got a $10 million allocation for what is undoubtedly a very worthwhile program, would the structures of the public service have been flexible enough, would they have encouraged innovation from the ‘bottom up’ sufficiently to have allowed something like this to have gradually emerged from low level experimentation without some imperative to do the project from above?  I mention it because Wikipedia had been around for a good while before the project got going – so one imagines some people had thought of it somewhere. And what’s the best institutional arrangement to spread the skills that the NLA have acquired with this project.  The NLA itself seems to be keen to spread the value of its accomplishments, posting the code it has developed which seems a great start.  But would housing less of the project within the NLA also be a good move?  Might some more generic unit within government (or perhaps outside it) provide a better way of spreading those skills?  I ask those questions quite naively and in full blown enthusiasm for the achievements of the project, not by way of criticism.

But one thing I want to do here is less tentative and more specific. I wanted to pay tribute to the volunteers without which, quite literally, none of this would be possible. The ten biggest contributors to the project – volunteers from outside that is – contribute more than the nearly 1,300 other volunteers who make their own valuable contributions.  (I’m one of them as of a couple of days ago, but so far I’ve only corrected a few lines!)  Go and sign up yourself!

Naturally I want to pay tribute to those people out of gratitude that they’re serving the public interest. I expect you do too. Like Wikipedians, they do it for a variety of motives. For some of them it just bugs them when they can see an error!  But the fact that what they are doing is of public benefit is a substantial motivator for many if not most. And when asked how the project can be made better, as Holley’s paper makes clear, many of them say things like this.

Recognize achievement ‐ Make a point to recognize achievements one‐on‐one and also in group settings. We like to think we are being noticed and are making a difference. Show us how we fit into the big picture.

So that’s what I want to do here.  Here is a table of the top eight contributors at the time Rose Holley published her article.

1 Jhempenstall 101,481 lines corrected, 2594 articles

2 Cmdevine 90,823 lines corrected 1585 articles

3 Fwalker13 80,437 lines corrected 642 articles

4 Mrbh 79,248 lines corrected 1439 articles

5 Maurielyn 72,129 lines corrected 1192 articles

6 John F Hall 59,111 lines corrected 1632 articles

7 Jdickson2 28,796 lines corrected 2407 articles

8 JamesGibney 25,106 lines corrected 479 articles

So good on you all you good people.  Good on you Julie Hempenstall from Bendigo whom the NLA tells me is now up to more than a quarter of a million lines. I’ve seen a list of the current top five and Julie’s held her top spot, with all of the rest having been stayers, who were also in the top eight above.  The least this Taskforce can do is to acknowledge your fantastic work. I think that one thing we (the community) should definitely do is to encourage a culture of recognition and public support and approbation for such efforts.

But of course this new world we’re in of open source endeavour is full of such people making their contribution. I wanted to invite readers to nominate other leaders in other projects who have selflessly volunteered large amounts of their time to build the public goods of Web 2.0 in Australia.

If Julie Hempenstall is my hero, who is yours?

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The Vox Pop 2.0 Learning Journey http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/09/10/the-vox-pop-2-0-learning-journey/ http://gov2.net.au/blog/2009/09/10/the-vox-pop-2-0-learning-journey/#comments Thu, 10 Sep 2009 01:40:21 +0000 Nicholas Gruen http://gov2.net.au/?p=830 We’ve just finished a couple of weeks of full on touring the country.  There’s more to come, but we’ve visited Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.  I’m in the States this week and then we’ll get onto some regional visits.  I think there’s a bit of a buzz about.  Of course what really matters is if we live up to it, but so far so good.  My last visit comprised a great couple of sessions in Adelaide with some great discussion – for instance on whether or not identity and authentication was a Web 1.0 or a Web 2.0 issue.  Taskforce member Glenn Archer and I didn’t agree to start with, but I think we managed to work it out as we discussed it. And is ‘joined up government’ even possible?  And what role can Web 2.0 play in helping to join up government?

We took recordings of those sessions we could and we’re hoisting them up on the site. Now within government this raises some ticklish questions. Since we haven’t recorded all the sessions, some people could complain that they’ve got the rough end of the pineapple (either by virtue of being recorded or not, depending on their perspective).  More importantly it would be best to be able to post the recordings with transcripts, particularly for those who need these to properly access the material (for instance for hearing impaired people).  But we have the recording now.  So since we have plans to get a transcript into existence should we wait till the transcript is available before we release the MP3s? That seems silly to us.  So we’re releasing the MP3s when we can.

And in fact that can help us generate the transcripts.

  • Perhaps you are willing to help transcribe them into text in a range of  languages to improve their accessibility for domestic and international purposes, or have another suggestion in this area?
  • Perhaps you can suggest an audio format that would produce smaller files (still with clear audio)?
  • Perhaps you can suggest an innovative way of analysing these sizeable chunks of information to uncover some common threads or new insights?
  • Perhaps you have had previous difficulties accessing government information online and know of helpful tools and technologies we can use for this and other such transcription tasks.

If you have an idea to suggest, then post it as a comment below or email it to contact@gov2.net.au by the end of next week – Friday 18 September. Please don’t send us any commercial proposals though – this is strictly an experiment in crowdsourcing and collaboration (and another chapter in our attempt to learn by doing, something it seems to me governments need to get more comfortable doing if we’re ever going to get Government 2.0 living up to its potential).

And if we can’t crowdsource or collaborate to find a solution, we have a backup plan. If we don’t have transcripts within two weeks we’ll arrange to have them made ourselves.

Taskforce Roadshow audio files

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