My take-away points from the first ODI Summit

As the Open Data Institute celebrates its first birthday, I was lucky enough to be able to attend their first annual summit and Gala dinner. Here are my take away moments from the day, rough and ready.

The ODI Summit attendees gather for the gala dinner

The ODI Summit attendees gather for the gala dinner

  • Take-aways from the ‘fireside chat”:
    • It was great to hear Sir Tim Berners-Lee describing the pivotal moment when Gordon Brown – the then Prime Minister – said “Yes” to putting government data on the web.
    • Open data is still seen as geeky and unapproachable – a lot more work is needed to evidence the power of data to transform lives.
    • Open data is just as important to the country (any country) as the power distribution network, or the road infrastructure
  • It was great to see that, in just 12 months, the ODI is already a global organisation with the creation of ODI Nodes – businesses, academia and NGOs working together.
  • “We build tools that make data actionable for citizens” – Catherine Bracy, Code for America
  • “The Smart City is dead. Long live the Smart Citizen” – Drew Hemmet, Future Everything and ODI Manchester
  • “Sometimes [you] have to push hard to get key data open” – Sir Nigel Shadbolt highlighting that there is still resistance to the Open Data movement / concept
  • Take-aways from the Finance & Politics panel discussion:
    • There is a need for ‘data aggregators’ (businesses, individuals and tools) to help identify value in divers open datasets
    • The US Government treats open data as a strategic asset
    • Open complaints data helps identify, prioritise and economise service delivery
    • There is enterprise in blending proprietary, open and observed data (e.g. social media streams)
    • There’s a clear correlation in the private sector between transparency and public approval
  • Mike Flowers – Chief Analytics Officer, NYC – is a great speaker and passionate about his role in NYC’s open data commitment. (Here’s a write up of the work he’s done for the city.)
  • Liam Maxwell stated (and in retrospect it seams obvious) that “Government is a data business”
  • Take-aways from the “Open for Business” panel discussion:
    • After resolving the Millennium bridge wobbles, Arup made all data and diagnostics open and freely available. At the time is was seen as a PR stunt but the data has been used and now more and more companies are doing the same.
    • Bank data is (should be) owned by the customer – when they switch banks they should be able to take it with them.
So there you go – I said it would be rough and ready. Comments and questions always welcome.

…the rise of digital citizens who wish greater participation in the democratic process [...], and emerging technologies should be embraced as a way to realise the original intent and goals of government – to represent, serve and involve their citizens

Scrivener and the Editing Process

I’ve stumbled across two fantastic blog posts over the last couple of days – both about Scrivener’s place in the editing process.

David Hewson’s post argues the case for dumping Scrivener and using Word; Jamie Todd Rubin’s post describes how he manages edits in Scrivener.

I think both cases are valid: David’s is argued from the point of view that editors will invariably use Word; Jamie’s from the point of view of someone who understands this, but would rather manage the whole process in Scrivener.

The example Jamie cites is for a 12 scene work; his process of copying from Word into Scrivener seems viable for a work of this size. David’s example has over 100 scenes and I wouldn’t want to be copying and pasting between the applications for a work of that magnitude.

What do you think about these two different approaches to the editing process? What do you do? Please feel free to leave a comment.

I’m curating a whole host of Scrivener-related resources here. Please pop by and take a look.

CorneliOS – A Framework for Building Community Platforms

Thanks to SourceForge’s Facebook timeline, I just discovered CorneliOS. From their blurb:

The CorneliOS WebOS is an easy-to-use and cross-browser “Web Desktop Environment”, “Web Operating System” or “Web Office”. It’s also a powerful web application framework that can be used to build community platforms.

Here’s a link to the CorneliOS web OS & application framework.

Making eMail excellent: A long-overdue rethink and a much anticipated application

Email client applications are all much of a muchness; some do more than others with tagging, highlighting and rules, but in the main they ultimately allow you to read email.

From a ‘Getting Things Done‘ (GTD) perspective, email has been the one ‘inbox’ (in the sense of GTD) that has been incongruous to the rest in my system; I’ve found it really difficult to smoothly integrate emails in my inbox into my GTD workflow.

How to: Communicate your plans effectively with Short Calendar

Email can be a terrible way to communicate. One such occasion is when trying to communicate planned time. As Nathan Cahill puts it:

“Plans are not easy to communicate over email. Whether you are planning a short trip or having a relative visit, you need to write it in calendar format.”

Logo for the Short Calendar web service - stylised drawing of a calendar

And, fortunately for the rest of us, he went ahead and created Short Calendar, a web app that allows you to do just that – create your plan on a calendar and email it to whoever you need to.

Simple, free. Excellent.

Thanks to Brent Sordyl, who’s blog post brought this service to my attention.