Eaves.ca readers – happy new year! Here’s a little but of an overview into how we are kicking off 2011/
First, if you are a regular reader…. thank you. Eaves.ca has just entered its 4th year and it all keeps getting more and more rewarding. I write to organize my thoughts and refine my writing skills but it is always most rewarding to see others benefit from/find it of value to read these posts.
Code for America
I’ve just landed San Francisco (literally! I’m sitting on the floor of the airport, catching the free SFO wifi) where I’ll be spending virtually all of January volunteering to help launch Code for America. Why? Because I think the organizations matters, its projects are important and the people are great. I’ve always enjoyed hanging out with technologists with a positive agenda for change (think Mozilla & OpenMRS) and Code for America takes all that fun and combines it with government – one of my other great passions. I hope to update you on the progress the organizations makes and what will be happening over the coming weeks. And yes, I am thinking about how Code for Canada might fit into all this.
I’ll also be in Ottawa twice in January. My first trip out is to present on a paper about how to write collaboratively using a wiki. With a little bit of work, I’ll be repositioning this paper to make it about how to draft public policy on a wiki within government (think GCPEDIA). With luck I’ll publish this in something like Policy Options or something similar (maybe US based?). I think this has the potential of being one of my most important pieces of the year and needless to say, I’m excited and will be grateful for feedback, both good and negative.
Open Data and Government
On my second trip to Ottawa I’ll be presenting on Open Data and Open Government to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics. Obviously, I’m honored and thrilled they’ve asked me to come and talk and look forward to helping parliamentarians understand why this issue is so important and how they could make serious progress in short order if they put their minds to the task.
So for the last two years we’ve been working hard to get cities to do open data with significant success. This year, may be the year that the Feds (more on that in a later post) and some provinces get in on the game, as well as a larger group of cities. The goal for them will be to build on, and take to the next level, the successes of the first movers like Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto and Ottawa. This will mean one thing. Doing the licensing better. The Vancouver license, which has been widely copied was a good starting point for governments venturing into unknown territory (e.g. getting their toes wet). But the license has several problems –and there are several significantly better choices out there (I’m look over at you PDDL – which I notice the City of Surrey has adopted, nice work.). So, I think one big goal for 2011 will be to get governments to begin shifting to (ideally) the PDDL and (if necessary) something more equivalent. On this front I’m feeling optimistic as well and will blog on this in the near future.
Lots of other exciting things going on as well – I look forward to sharing them here in the blog soon.
All in all, its hard to to be excited about 2011 and I hope you are too. Thank you so much for being part of all of this.