[wdmmg-discuss] Does anyone have any thoughts for this post on open data?
kathryn.corrick at googlemail.com
Mon Jun 21 12:13:37 BST 2010
Fantastic. I'll edit and post under wdmmg.
I'll also add my other email address to the discuss list sorry!
And introduce myself and update everyone where I'm at.
Kathryn Corrick - Digital Media Consultant
Mobile: 07901 914190
Email: kathryn.corrick at gmail.com
Linked In: www.linkedin.com/in/kcorrick
On Mon, Jun 21, 2010 at 11:59 AM, Rufus Pollock <rufus.pollock at okfn.org>wrote:
> On 21 June 2010 10:56, K Corrick <kathryn.corrick at googlemail.com> wrote:
> > Hello,
> > This article by Dan McQuillan:
> > Open data doesn't empower communities
> > http://www.internetartizans.co.uk/open_data_does_not_empower
> > "Open data doesn't empower communities. I'm not saying open data is a bad
> > thing, but we need to highlight the gap between the semantic web and
> > impact. Otherwise we'll continue to get swept along on a tide of
> > technocratic enthusiasm where hope lies in 'a flood of data to create a
> > data-literate citizenry'...."
> > Its currently getting a lot of attention on Twitter and some interesting
> > feeback. I was just wondering if anyone from the WDMMG team like to post
> > comment to give our take on what he's saying?
> I don't have as much time now to write a full on reply but:
> 1. Open data will help make the *delivery* of a whole bunch of public
> services better (and perhaps cheaper). To take one *very* obvious
> example: travel and transport planning.
> 2. Open data (plus FOI) also are a significant benefit to the
> "enlarged" fourth estate (media + bloggers + citizen activists ...)
> and will help them do their job of monitoring, critiquing (and
> praising where deserved!) government.
> 3. But open data isn't a magic potion for democratic governance (what
> is?!):it won't make participation (or empowerment or agency ...)
> *automatically* run faster, jump higher etc (to paraphrase a po-mo ad
> of the 90s).
> 4. If what you are after is more participation/collaborative
> government/etc then open data can be a valuable ingredient but far
> more important IMO is the actual governance structures you've got in
> place. Sure, technology (+ open data) can make it easier to find out
> what planning stuff is going on -- and possibly to make your views
> known -- but if that doesn't actually feed into the decision making
> process it won't make a huge difference to individual empowerment
> (plus you've got to remember that there is a big cost in becoming
> informed that technology doesn't automatically take away). [^1]
> So to summarize:
> * Open data does deliver clear, concrete benefits including a better
> "enlarged" fourth estate
> * But it won't "magically" empower people without work on the
> actually machinery of governance
> [^1]: And conversely, most changes in governance structures aren't
> that dependent on tech or open data -- the Conservatives "open source
> planning" approach would have been applicable in 1910 as well as
> today. (BTW: this is not an endorsement or otherwise of said approach
> -- just an example that governance change and open data can sometimes
> be fairly orthogonal).
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